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Love Your Home: Plants for Easy Landscaping

Becky Shaible

Becky's passion is marketing and her wide range of experience from retail management to accounts management helps her everyday. 

Becky's passion is marketing and her wide range of experience from retail management to accounts management helps her everyday. 

Apr 29 4 minutes read

One thing that I thought was easy was gardening, that was until I started actually looking into the plants that I was more drawn to. Unfortunately, a lot of them were tropical plants that were not native to PA and so I was disappointed to find out that they would take forever to bloom, a lot more care, or even need a greenhouse just to keep them alive. From that point I decided to ask what can make my landscaping beautiful all year round and not be too finicky with the weather? Well fortunately there are a lot of native trees, shrubs, and perennial flowers in Pennsylvania that bloom almost all spring and throughout summer. We have listed a couple of tips and plants that will help you design a beautiful, luscious, and extremely easy to care for lawn.

To ensure you are getting the appropriate plants that will survive and thrive in your yard, you must check the type of soil you have. Every plant is different in the type of environment it needs to grow to its potential. Thankfully our state is very versatile in what type of soil you have based off where you are located, and still most native plants can suit any of those. If you are curious, you can have a soil engineer, come out and test your lawn, they will tell you exactly what type of soil, how much water it can retain, and how much organic matter is in the soil. That way you only have to do the picking, plopping, and watching!

One other benefit to choosing native plants versus tropical and exotic plants, is the invasive pests we all dislike are not too much of a problem for native species. That’s because they have already built up the tolerance towards those pests and have built a natural defense towards there infestation efforts. Amazing right! However, bringing in a tropical plant that has pests that were never on a native species in Pennsylvania, those pests will go nuts over the new nutrients they have discovered and will completely deteriorate your plant. Another bonus is the more native you go the less pesticides on your garden which then equals more organic growing and a safer environment for you, your kids, and your animals. Choosing this organic route helps to also invite natural resources for pollination and pest control like birds, butterflies, bees, and even those pesky squirrels everywhere.

Exotica and tropical plants are definitely great, but also, they require a lot of water. Then again, if they get to much water, they are extremely easy to rot out especially since we do have all of the seasons some areas get flooded. Good thing is there are plants that are native to Pennsylvania and can handle the excess amount of water that comes with the rain and snow we get every year. Best part, they actually like it to! Most of the time the plants can retain that water to use in sparing times like when we forget to water them on extremely hot days, or if it is trying to grow a bunch and needs extra resources. With the native plants you not only have less watering days for your plants, but you also have less of a water bill.

Below are few we like for our area:

Red Maple Tree - better for areas that get a lot of sun but can adapt to light and soil conditions.

Arrowwood Viburnum Shrub - can grown in the sun, shade and in almost all soil types.

Virginia Sweetspire Shrub - very dense and adaptable shrub.

Jerusalem Artichoke Perennial - this is a taller perennial that does well in full sun but can tolerate almost any type of soil

Goldenrod Perennial - does well in sunny areas but is adaptable to most soils.

Wild Indigo Perennial - very long living and will grow in most soils.

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