Plant Native Plants
A garden full of plants native to Maryland is a great way to reduce stormwater pollution while providing habitat and food for butterflies, birds, and pollinators.
Trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses that are native to the region and well-adapted to the planting site are attractive and use fewer inputs – like irrigation, fertilizers, and maintenance – than turf grass or fussy non-native ornamental plants.
Nature in Your Backyard
Did you know that native plants support nearly 30 times the amount of native insects than non-native plants do? And that 96% of terrestrial birds feed their young exclusively insect food?
Many native insects are important because they are herbivores, and they have evolved to eat only certain native plants. We call these plants “host plants”, and many of our plants fill this role: oak trees are host plants to 534 different species of butterflies and moths, for example.
When you plant a native tree, shrub, or perennial in your yard you are contributing to a much healthier and robust food web for Baltimore. Improving the health of the ecosystems in Baltimore’s watersheds is one of the main missions of Blue Water Baltimore, and when you use native plants you are contributing to that health.
Ways To Utilize Natives
Use native plants in your rain garden
Convert a portion of your lawn into an urban meadow for a low maintenance and eco-friendly yard
Use native trees, like oaks and cherries, to shade your home
Plant a butterfly garden with native nectar and host plants
Get Started With Natives
Don’t worry if you aren’t an expert gardener: we are here to help!
That’s why Blue Water Baltimore started Herring Run Nursery: to help homeowners, community groups, schools, and landscape designers have ready access to plants that are a part of our ecosystem.
If you come to one of our retail sale dates, which typically happen in the spring (April to June) and fall (August to October), one of our staff or volunteers can help you get started. We also offer workshops and lectures, so be sure to look at our Calendar of Events for upcoming dates.
Helpful Native Plant Resources
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Garden Planning Tool (external resource)
Maryland Native Plant Society (external resource)
Bird Friendly Habitat Resources from Patterson Park Audubon Center (external resource)
Propagation Protocol Database: Instructions for Growing Your Natives from the Native Plant Network (external resource)