The Right Plants in the Right Spot

Good job deciding to replace your invasives with native plants!  But where to start?  Native plants are highly adaptable to soil and light.  Still it's best to seek out plants that thrive naturally in your situation, whether it's a wet area, dry slope or shade garden. 


Below are suggestions to get you started.  Feel free to look further under "Browse" and then "What to Plant" and contact us with questions -- 703-401-1949.  Thank you and Happy Planting!

Native trees planted in Maryland may qualify for a $25 off coupon from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.


And if you live in Montgomery County, Md., you may be eligible for an additional $40 off native trees valued at $75 or more.

Qualifying Trees:

  • River Birch

  • White Cedar

  • Black Cherry

  • Chokecherry

  • Flowering Dogwood

  • American Elm 'Jefferson'

  • Blackgum

  • Black Locust

  • Red Maple

  • Pin Oak

  • Northern Red Oak

  • Swamp White Oak

  • White Oak

  • Pawpaw

  • Redbud 

  • Sycamore

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If you have these invasives:

Replace with these natives:

  1. Autumn Olive ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mapleleaf Viburnum

  2. Bradford Pear ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Downy Serviceberry

  3. Burning Bush ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Red Chokeberry, Arrowwood Viburnum

  4. Chinese Silvergrass ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Little Bluestem

  5. English Ivy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Choral Bells, Wild Ginger

  6. Golden Bamboo ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Eastern Redcedar

  7. Japanese Barberry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Shrubby St. John's Wort, Winterberry

  8. Japanese Honeysuckle ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Coral Honeysuckle

  9. Japanese Pachysandra ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ White Wood Aster, Foamflower

  10. Japanese Wisteria ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wild Blue Phlox

  11. Norway Maple ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Red Maple, Basswood/Linden

  12. Porcelainberry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gray Dogwood

  13. Purple Loosestrife ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New York Ironweed, Summersweet

  14. Spreading Liriope ~~~ Pennsylvania Sedge

  15. Tree of Heaven ~~~ Smooth Sumac, Black Walnut

If your yard is sunny with medium to dry soil


  • White Oak, Scarlet Oak, Northern Red Oak, Red Maple, American Elm ‘Jefferson,' American Beech, Fringetree, Smoketree, Yellowwood, Tulip Poplar, Blackgum, Black Cherry, Black Locust, Basswood, Downy Serviceberry


  • Eastern Redcedar, White Pine, White Spruce


  • Little Bluestem, Purple Love Grass


  • Chokeberry, Snowberry, Dwarf Honeysuckle (pictured), Ninebark, Sweet Fern, Beautyberry, Sweet Shrub, Gray Dogwood, Hazelnut, Witch Hazel, Shrubby St. John's Wort, Spicebush, Sumac, Blueberry, Viburnum

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If your yard is sunny and moist


  • Sycamore, River Birch, Black Willow, Bald Cypress, Blackgum, American Snowbell, Pawpaw, Sweetbay Magnolia, Swamp White Oak, Pin Oak, Willow Oak


  • Buttonbush (pictured), Elderberry, Summersweet, Gray Dogwood, Red Twig Dogwood, Silky Dogwood, Winterberry, Pussy Willow, Sandbar Willow


  • Switchgrass, River Oats, Wool Grass

If your yard is shady with medium soil


  • Redbud, American Hornbeam, Dogwood, Franklin Tree (pictured), Carolina Silverbell


  • Bottlebrush Buckeye, Roundleaf Dogwood, Leatherwood, Strawberry Bush, Wild Hydrangea, Mountain Laurel, Bladdernut (full shade)


  • Pennsylvania Sedge

  • Plantainleaf Sedge

  • Switchgrass (moist)

  • Woolgrass (moist)

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If Your Yard Slopes

Try for a mix of trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses to create interest and help absorb and divert the flow of rain.


Want less height? Try ground covers, maybe an assortment flowering at different times of the year.  Native grasses and sedges are always a good choice since their roots dig deep and grab the soil.


Fill in with mulch while waiting for your plants to fill out. :)

Sunny Slope

Sunny slopes can be extremely dry since most of the water is draining downhill rather than being absorbed in the soil.  Plants here should be particularly adaptable to dry conditions.  


  • Asters

  • Common Milkweed

  • Blue Mistflower

  • Mountain Mint (pictured)

  • Black-Eyed Susan

  • Wild Bergamot

  • Hyssop-leaf boneset

  • Joe Pye Weed

Small trees and shrubs:

  • Bottlebrush Buckeye

  • Sumac (Fragrant or Smooth)

  • Indigobush

  • Arrowwood Viburnum

  • Eastern Redcedar (large evergreen)

Plant near bottom of slope where moisture may accumulate:​

  • Sweet Fern

  • Redbud

  • Ninebark

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red chokeberry.jpg


  • Little Bluestem

  • Purple Lovegrass


  • Common Blue Violet

  • Wild Geranium

Shady Slope

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These plants hold the soil while doing well with limited sunlight:

Grasses & Sedges

  • Switchgrass

  • Pennsylvania sedge

  • Plantainleaf sedge


Ground Covers

  • Wintergreen

  • Ferns (Christmas, Cinnamon, Royal)

  • Twinleaf

  • Ginger (pictured)

  • Wild Blue Phlox



  • Bottlebrush Buckeye (pictured, part shade)

  • Bladdernut (dry soil)

  • Snowberry 

  • Roundleaf Dogwood (dry soil)

  • Silky Dogwood (moist)

  • Gray Dogwood (moist)

  • Hornbeam

  • Hazelnut 

  • New Jersey Tea

  • Dwarf bush honeysuckle

Not enough room for a garden?

Try potting these perennials in sunny or partly sunny spots

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)

Chasmanthum latifoliim (River Oats) 

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue Mistflower)

Eupatorium dubium (Joe Pye Weed) 

Fragaria virginiana (Wild strawberry) 

Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed-pictured)

Iris versacolor (Northern Blue Flag)

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral Honeysuckle – vine)

Mentha arvensis (Wild Mint)

Monarda punctata (Spotted Beebalm)

Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

Passiflora incarnata (Purple Passionflower)

Penstemon digitalis (Beardtongue)

Pycnanthemum virginianum (Mountain Mint)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan)

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (Aromatic Aster)


Got Shade?  Try these in a pot. Don't forget drainage!

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

Heuchera americana (Coral Bells)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)

Tiarella cordifolia  (Foamflower)