Native Plants that Thrive in the Carolinas

Industry Observer with LawnStarter

Adding any kind of native tree, shrub, or flower to your landscaping is a win-win. Native plants are hardier and can handle periods of drought, and they require less maintenance. Native plants also help to combat the invasive nature of foreign plants that can choke out many Raleigh yards.

As one of the top metro areas with new homes, Raleigh is bursting with plenty of newcomers planting new landscapes around their home. You’ll find the following native plants that thrive in Raleigh, N.C., in both cultivated gardens and in natural areas all over the city.  Check out these native plants that thrive in and around the City of Oaks.


Flowering Dogwood

As the North Carolina state flower, this tree is widely known and seen in the North Raleigh area. The Flowering Dogwood is a shade-loving tree that features plenty of white and pink blooms in the spring. It is excellent for homes gardens thanks to its smaller size that has a lovely growth pattern with branches that tend to grow horizontally rather than vertically.

Red Maple

If your yard is in need of more shade, consider adding a Red Maple to your landscape. This larger native tree thrives all over the North Raleigh area. It can reach up to 100 feet high and features beautiful red leaves. The flowers and fruit that appear first are essential to the local environment.


Virginia Sweetspire 

The unique shape of the Virginia Sweetspire is enough reason to add it to your native garden. The arching branches feature plenty of small white flowers that produce a fragrant addition to your yard. Virginia Sweetspire only grows up to 4 feet tall and wide making it a great choice for smaller areas of the garden.

American Beautyberry


Purple berries are the main attraction of the American beautyberry. This native shrub is an excellent option if you enjoy bird watching. The berries arrive in the fall and create a bountiful meal for area birds and other wildlife. The berries appear from pollinated pink flowers that show up during the summer months.


Butterfly Weed

Enjoying your garden landscaping includes watching the activity that the right plant can bring. Butterfly weed, a type of milkweed is a native perennial that features bright orange and yellow flowers filled with nectar. It’s a real feast for a variety of butterflies. While it is not the first choice of the monarch butterfly, many others use it to lay caterpillar eggs. The plant does well in plenty of sunshine and likes to stay put once planted.

Foam Flower

Another unique native flower in our region. The Foam Flower is a native perennial featuring tall spires of delicate white flowers that appear in the spring. The leaves of the plant are somewhat glossy and appear to be heart-shaped. The leaves last through the fall, turning a beautiful bronze color.

No matter what you choose to add to your garden, know that any one of these native plants should bloom and thrive in a short period of time. Selecting native plants saves you the headaches (and backaches) of constant maintenance. It also saves on your water bill and helps battle invasive species that threaten local wildlife. So rally around Raleigh and choose native plants during your next trip to the garden center.

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