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Croton and Beyond: Native Plants for Your Area

Blair Brown — May 30, 2019

Do you love house plants, indoor fruit trees and large outdoor varieties but find yourself intimidated by their care requirements or ability to thrive? Though we have a growing zone map to determine your area and the best plants for you, plant parenting is still a bit daunting. Not to worry, though – planting native plants is a great way to help yourself and your garden out! 

Native plants are ones that naturally occur in a particular region, ecosystem, and habitat and are a wonderful option for a healthy garden. They're typically easy-growing and well-built to withstand their local conditions, diseases, and pests. They also usually don't require pesticides that non-native plants may require.

Today, we’re covering our favorite native plants for every region of the country. So, no matter where you live, there are numerous options that will be right at home in your garden. Let's jump in!

Southern Staples

Rich canopies of shade, bright blooms and green foliage: The hallmarks of Southern plants. And since our nursery is located in South Carolina, we know just a bit about the best picks for this region.

1. Southern Magnolia

Aptly named for its native region, the Southern Magnolia is a unique pick because it thrives outside of the Southeast. And of course, its beauteous white flowers against its dark green foliage are stunning, making it second to none in any landscape.

Even better? Florists adore Southern Magnolias since they’re ideal for flower arrangements and bridal bouquets.


2. American Beautyberry

There’s nothing like this prime perennial, especially when it comes alive in April. The beauty starts with toothed green foliage that transitions to small white and pink flowers in clusters in July.

But the most impressive time of year for this plant is September, when bright, iridescent purple berries emerge and continue to blossom through November. And it’s utilitarian to boot – its crushed leaves are often used to keep mosquitoes and ticks away.

American Beautyberry

3. Live Oak Tree

The sweet shade and natural beauty of the Live Oak make it a true Southern staple. For starters, few trees are as awe-inspiring as the Live Oak because it’s a fast and strong grower, ultimately reaching a height of up to 80 feet without pruning.

Plus, its distinctive, moss-decorated silhouette and rich looks thrive in coastal soils and along banks of streams and rivers.

Girl walking under a canopy of Live Oak Trees on a sunny day

Northern Natives

The cold climate of the Northeast (and even far North areas) isn’t an issue when it comes to these vivacious and versatile varieties.

1. Northern Red Oak

We can’t really talk about Northern trees without mentioning the quintessential Red Oak. Its main draw?It grows in even the worst conditions.From wide open pastures to dense forests and polluted city sidewalks, the Northern Red Oak adapts to nearly every condition imaginable.

It doesn’t matter if you have poor soil, compact space, wet sand, dry clay or urban air – you can grow this tree and grow it well.

 Northern Red Oak Tree

2. Top Hat Blueberry

Classed as a low bush variety, the Top Hat Blueberry is tailor-made for cold climes.And it’s the only blueberry variety that bursts with colors respective to the seasons. Small white flowers give way to orange, bright red foliage during autumn…after you’ve harvested all of your amazing berries.

Bushels of berries plus cold hardy strength – what’s not to love?

Girl picking top Hat Blueberries from a bush

3. Autumn Blaze Red Maple

Eye-catching, reliably red fall color that’s second to none defines the Autumn Blaze. And thanks to its fast, easy growth, it’s perfect up North and beyond.

Even better? The Autumn Blaze Red Maple boasts insect and disease resistance in a uniform silhouette, with minimal mess after its leaves drop in the fall.

Autumn Blaze® Red Maple Tree 

Western Wonders

From the Croton to the Hazelnut, the Pacific Northwest and American Southwest are the bearers of fresh favorites you’ll love.

1. Douglas Fir Tree

Standing tall in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, the Douglas Fir Tree is one of America’s top sources of lumber. Plus, Douglas Fir Trees have been used for centuries for everything, including the railroad ties and telephone poles that built our nation.

Douglas Fir

There’s a reason this tree stands the test of time: Douglas is hardy, sturdy and it’s easy to grow.

2. Croton Mammy Plant

Ok, so it’s technically native to the Pacific Island region and surrounding tropical areas, but the Croton Mammy has become a symbol of island-inspired, Southwestern-style vibes. Amazing green, yellow, red and purple leaves grow upward in a spiral-like, unique shape to set the coveted Croton apart. Tropical beauty, even through the winter – is there anything better?

But whether you’re buying the Croton, Southern Magnolia or any of these other products, they’ll thrive at your home because it’s their home, too.

Blair Brown

Blair is the Content Marketing Manager at FastGrowingTrees.com, and though she's not your traditional gardener, the planting world is definitely growing on her (pun intended!). She's enjoyed digging into plant care and maintenance and growing her plant collection, especially with exotic indoor varieties.

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