If you want to make gardening easy on yourself, the simplest way to do that is to go native. Planting flora that is native to Northeast Florida will make for a garden that will thrive year round, and will help support our ecosystem. Here is a list of native plants to dig into as you plan your beds this spring. This list was compiled from Jake Ingram’s List of Reliable, Durable Native Plants. If you want to see the whole list visit www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org

Wondering where to pick up these plants? There is a shop in Ortega that specializes in them! Visit www.nativeanduncommonplants.com. Happy Gardening!


Yellow or Ocala Anise (Illicium parviflorum)
Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)
Venus Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
Sunshine Mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa)
Stokes Aster (Stokesia laevis)
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Garden Best by Going Native:

Gardening is an excellent activity for the mind and body, but sometimes it can seem daunting to those without a green thumb. Here is a list of native plants that will thrive in your yard, and help to support our ecosystem.

Passion Vine – Has spectacular pink or purple flowers that reach up to 4 inches in diameter. Grows fast in full sun and sandy soil.

Cardinal Flower –One of the best at attracting hummingbirds, it’s also pollinated by large butterflies and bees. Needs lots of water and does best near ponds or rivers.

Coontie – Known as a “living fossil,” this palm-like plant with upright cones was a dominant form of plant life in the dinosaur age. Excellent ground cover.

Muhly Grass – A stiff, fine-textured ornamental grass that grows 3 to 4 feet tall and displays pink and copper tones in the fall. Grows best in full sun and sandy soil.

Bluestem Grass – A fast-growing bunchgrass that can grow 3 to 10 feet tall and provides food and shelter for wildlife.