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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; 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 for replacing invasives, for slopes, and for potted perennials.  For more ideas, check out  "Browse" and then "What to Plant" and contact us with questions -- 703-401-1949.  Thank you and Happy Planting!

Invasives --> Natives

  1. Autumn Olive --> Mapleleaf Viburnum

  2. Bradford Pear --> Serviceberry

  3. Burning Bush --> Arrowwood 

  4. Chinese Silvergrass --> Little Bluestem

  5. English Ivy --> Choral Bells

  6. Golden Bamboo --> Eastern Redcedar

  7. Japanese Barberry --> Winterberry

  8. Japanese Honeysuckle --> Coral Honeysuckle

  9. Japanese Pachysandra --> Foamflower

  10. Japanese Wisteria --> Wild Blue Phlox

  11. Norway Maple --> Red Maple, Basswood

  12. Porcelainberry --> Gray Dogwood

  13. Purple Loosestrife --> Summersweet

  14. Spreading Liriope --> Pennsylvania Sedge

  15. Tree of Heaven --> Smooth Sumac, Black Walnut

Bottom of slope: 

  • Sweet Fern

  • Redbud

  • Ninebark

On Slopes: Mix trees, plants and grasses to create interest and help absorb and divert rainwater.  Fill in with mulch while waiting for your plants to fill out. 

Sunny Slope

Plants here should be particularly adaptable to dry conditions since most of the water is draining downhill.  

Flowers & Grasses:

  • Asters

  • Common Milkweed

  • Mountain Mint (pictured)

  • Black-Eyed Susan

  • Hyssop-leaf boneset

  • Purple Lovegrass

mountain mint.jpg

Shady Slope


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

  • Switchgrass

  • Pennsylvania Sedge

  • Ferns (Christmas, Cinnamon, Royal)

  • Ginger (pictured, top)

  • Wild Blue Phlox

  • Roundleaf Dogwood (dry soil)

  • Gray Dogwood (moist)

  • New Jersey Tea

Not enough room for a garden?

Try these in pots -- in sunny or partly sunny spots

  • Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)

  • Fragaria virginiana (Wild strawberry) 

  • Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed-pictured)

  • Iris versacolor (Northern Blue Flag)

  • Lonicera sempervirens (Coral Honeysuckle – vine)

  • Monarda punctata (Spotted Beebalm)

  • Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

  • Penstemon digitalis (Beardtongue)

  • Pycnanthemum muticum (Mountain Mint)

  • Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan)

  • Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

  • Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)


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

  • Heuchera americana (Coral Bells)

  • Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)

  • Tiarella cordifolia  (Foamflower)

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