Community Education on Environment and Development

Plant right for your site

Choosing the Right Plants

Follow this guide for choosing the right plant in the right place (pdf 1.3 MB).

A plant whose cultural needs are not met -- for sun or shade, moisture or dryness, drainage, protection from wind, etc. -- will never thrive. Unhealthy plants are generally more susceptible to pests and disease.

Planning a great garden starts on paper. Map your yard, identifying the site conditions mentioned above. As you consider plants and their placement, take into account the mature size of the plants so you won’t overcrowd them, to avoid ongoing -- and often unattractive -- pruning and shaping. Also remember that all plants need regular watering until they are established -- from one to three years.

By using the right plant in the right place, in combination with good soil preparation and mulching practices, your landscape should need relatively little supplemental watering after establishment. Actual watering needs will depend on specific site conditions and plants used.

Group plants by their needs

Put plants that need full sun, or shade, or rich soil, or regular irrigation together with those of similar needs. That way you won't have to water the whole yard to reach one thirsty plant!

How much lawn do you need, or want to maintain? What kind of plantings would fit your yard?

The Plant List

Download this the photo-filled guide (pdf, 1,222 Kb), which suggests 240 plants that thrive in a variety of conditions.

Helpful tips

Here are some tips for working with your local nursery or landscape professional:

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