Johnson's Gardens - Cedarburg WI Garden Center
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8504 Highway 60, Cedarburg, WI • 262-377-2500
Garden Center:Wisconsin Natives

Native Plant GuideNative Plants of Wisconsin

The use of native plants in the landscape is more than just a trend. It is an awakening for the need to preserve our native flora in man-made landscapes. So why use natives?

Many of our native plants are grown from wild collected, local seed. These ecotypes are adaptable to our soils and climate. They offer a wide array of colors, fragrances and other attributes that rival many introduced species. In addition, planting a native plant for any reason helps preserve natives in our landscape. While native plants can be more adaptable than non-natives to local conditions, site selection is still important. The plant’s native habitat often provides clues to locating its best site. When plants are sited properly, they generally thrive and require less maintenance.

Aldo Leopold said, "To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering." When you plant native plants, you're preserving the vegetation, as well as countless other life forms such as, birds, insects, mammals, fungi and more, who depend on and interact together to form beautiful, sustainable landscapes.


Shagbark Hickory, Carya ovataHow do you determine what is native?
We consider plants that were growing here in Wisconsin before European settlement to be native. Refer to the Wisconsin State Herbarium and their Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Wisconsin for more information.

How can I use natives in my landscape?
Native plants can be used in your landscape in many ways. You may want to include native plants as an addition to a more traditional landscape. A specific portion of your property could be converted to a native garden, or you may decide that you want all of your land planted exclusively with natives. Whatever you decide, the use the use of native plants will fulfill your needs and provide you with an appealing landscape a sustainable environment and the satisfaction of helping to preserve our natural resources.

How do I care for my native plants?
Native plants are locally adapted; they are hardy to our climate and adapted to our soils. When the right plants are selected for your site conditions they are programmed to thrive, and once established will provide years of beauty and reduced maintenance relative to traditional landscapes. However, even native plants are not maintenance free. It is important to provide new plantings with proper care to ensure establishment. Initial watering, mulching and fertilization is important and native plants will respond just as other landscape plants do.

Natives are beautiful, functional and they connect us to our state's heritage.

Wisconsin State Bird Robin

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