How to Plant Native Seeds

Overview

Native plants are some of the easiest, and most natural, plants you can grow, providing you grow species that are endemic to your part of the world. Some native plants are more adaptable than others: For example, native columbines grow in many different regions. But others prefer a narrow growing zone, making it difficult to force them to grow in conditions that are only slightly different from their native habitat. After you do a little research, and perhaps contact your local native plant society, you'll learn which natives will thrive in your yard.

Step 1

Purchase seeds of plants that are native to your region. Check seed catalogs and Internet sources to learn about the plants that grow wild in your area, keeping in mind that plants often require a specific altitude range and climatic conditions.

Step 2

Prepare a garden bed for your native plants by first weeding the area and then spreading a 2-inch layer of compost and peat moss on top of the soil. Dig it in with your shovel to a depth of about 8 inches. Then rake the area level.

Step 3

Scatter seeds on top of your prepared garden bed and cover them with the correct amount of additional soil/compost, according to seed packet instructions. Water the area well with a sprinkler for at least 20 minutes and keep the area moist all winter if rains don't suffice.

Step 4

Sow seeds of some native plants in pots or flats indoors in the fall. Fill pots with standard potting soil and then plant your seeds the correct depth and distance apart, following seed packet instructions. Water well and keep your pot or flat in a sunny spot indoors until after your final spring frost. Transplant to your prepared garden bed according to seed packet instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Seeds
  • Pots or flats
  • Potting soil
  • Sprinkler

References

  • United States National Arboretum: What Is a Native Plant, Anyway?
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: A Guide to Native Plant Gardening
  • Enature: Native Plant Finder
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service: Conserving the Nature of America
  • Native Plant Network: Propagation Protocol Search

Who Can Help

  • Native Seed Network
Keywords: native plants, wildflowers columbine, gardening regional

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.