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Spring Planting: Selecting the Right Species for the Right Location

With Spring fast approaching – getting your planting ideas together and selecting the “right species for the right locations” is imperative. Early, carefully timed planting has lasting benefits.

  • Planting early allows one to rely on rain instead of hand watering events for establishment
  • Cost effective
  • Root growth allows for a fuller appearance and more flowers
  • Deeper roots produced creates better drought tolerance, resistance to pathogens & pests (fungi, bacteria and/or insect) and better overall health
  • Nurseries grow certain species based on prior year sales numbers – a lot of beautiful plants sell out and become hard to source

It is imperative to select the ‘right plant for the right location’ if you want less maintenance and more success. That is not to say that all plant material should be native, in my opinion – as the environment has changed and will never revert. There are, however, certain plant species that are more beneficial to local pollinators & wildlife than others.

Other benefits of selecting the ‘right plant for the right location’:

  • The right plant material requires less maintenance – if the species is selected for the right location, it is meant to grow there
  • Overall plant health & aesthetic appeal – the right plant species more naturally grows healthy
  • Attracts & benefits local pollinators & wildlife
  • Has a naturalistic look ‘like it belongs’ in a given landscape setting

A few examples of native plants to consider for ornamental planting applications can be found here:

Asclepias offers a variety of flowering colors. This native plant, Milkweed, is well known for its wide-ranging benefits to butterflies and pollinators. Particularly, the Monarch Butterfly cannot complete it’s reproductive life cycle without adequate Milkweed. This plant will also provide a food source for the various stages of the Monarch and other butterflies’ life cycles – potentially saving other plants from unnecessary damage.

Penstemon is a beautiful native plant that comes in a variety of colors and cultivars. Nurseries and plant breeders have worked hard to optimize flower size and bloom time. They provide fantastic seasonal interest and long-lasting bloom time. They do like to have adequate water with drainage and would suffer in heavy clay environments. This plant species also provides benefits to native pollinators.

Echinacea is a well-known native plant that has been worked on extensively in the plant breeding and nursery business. Among other things – Echinacea has medicinal benefits.

When you choose the right plant for the right location, you’ll create a happier, healthier, and naturally beautiful ornamental planting area in your home or community garden.

David A. Carl is an account manager with CAI Keystone business partner member LandCare. After three decades in business and now with more than 4,000 employees coast to coast, LandCare is one of the most comprehensive providers of commercial landscape services in the United States. We’re proud to be consistently ranked as one of the top landscape service companies in North America. Visit LandCare online at: https://landcare.com/