Picking a native variety to start your gardening hobby is a great idea – these plants are easy to come by and adapt easily to your region and climate. Not only that, their blossoms can attract pollinators and birds to your garden, which is always a plus!

These are a few simple native plants going from sunflowers to shrubs you can grow with relative ease on your first go at gardening! 

Bee Balm

bee balms
Source: Almanac

Bee balms have the innate advantage of being great pollinators, attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. They are rich perennials that will grow into a variety of colors too, making it perfect for a colorful and vibrant garden landscapes.

Maintenance and watering

Usually grows in zones 2 to 9, but their resilience will vary depending on the species. Most bee balms require moderate maintenance and watering. They grow in full sun or partial shade in hot climates. If they die out, the clumps can be replanted in early spring to blossom again.

Recommended varieties

  • Monarda didyma is bright red and grows 3 to 4 feet tall
  • M. fistulosa produces lavender-pink blooms in late summer
  • M. pringlei grows 18 inches tall and is immune to powdery mildew

Maximilian Sunflower

maximillian sunflower
Source: Gardenia

The Maximillian Sunflower is very easy to grow, being one of the most beginner-friendly options you can find. Seeds will grow quickly offering big bright yellow blooms in no time.

Maintenance and watering

The Maximillian Sunflower requires only low to moderate watering, but they really want a full sun to fully grow. If planted on a rich soil in spring, they can sustain dry conditions for a while. They can grow pretty tall though (up to 10 feet), so staking is required.

Native Carex

native carex
Source: Dyck Arboretum

The carex species is incredibly useful for erosion control or as ornamental grass, on top of dealing well with drought periods. Even better, a native variety establishes easily and is generally free of most pests.

Maintenance and watering

The carex species is easy to maintain for new gardeners. As mentioned above, pests are usually not a problem and a native pick will adapt and grow quickly in your region. 

Recommended varieties

  • C. tumulicola and C. pansa in California
  • C. texensis in the Southwest
  • C. muskingumensis in the Midwest
  • C. albicans in eastern North America

Broadleaf stonecrop

broadleaf stonecrop
Source: Plant Care Today

This succulent is beautiful and very easy to grow for beginners, with the added benefit of being resilient to a wide range of soil and weather conditions and blooming pollinator-attracting flowers in spring. Native to western North America from British Columbia to Southern California.

Maintenance and watering

Stonecrops only need low watering – in fact, one of the few ways you can make them die is to leave them on soggy soil for too long by overwatering. Flowers will grow up to 5 inches tall, so it’s very unlikely to be intrusive or require staking.

American Elderberry

american elderberry
Source: The Spruce

The American Elderberry is a shrub-tree that brings many benefits for all seasons. Their white flowers attract pollinators during spring and summer, but they also yield edible berries that will attract birds. Nature says thanks!

American Elderberries can grow up to 12 feet tall and wide depending on conditions, so they are great as natural privacy screens or as background to garden beds.

Maintenance and watering

Although they can tolerate dry summers and periods of drought, they require regular watering throughout. They also tend to spread and take over other areas of your garden if not controlled, so be sure to trim it down whenever necessary.

Recommended varieties

  • Sambucus n. ssp. canadensis, native to central and eastern North America
  • S. pubens, native to the Northeast, west to Colorado and south to Georgia
  • S. n. ssp. caerulea, native to the western U.S., northwest Mexico and British Columbia

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