Connecticut offers a wide variety of native plants to grow in your garden. According to the Connecticut Botanical Society, plants were nonexistent in this region until changes in the Wisconsin Glacial ice about 20,000 years ago. Plant recommendations for Connecticut gardens range from U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 2 to 8. The society urges gardeners to avoid taking plants from natural habitats.
Connecticut has several native ferns that thrive in the state. Ferns grow to an average height of 1 to 5 feet. These evergreens prosper in moist soils, typically in full sun to partial shade. The Connecticut native cinnamon fern does best in full sun with additional watering. The marginal woodfern has the darkest leaves of this plant type and is often added to Connecticut gardens for winter color. The ostrich fern is another favorite for naturalistic gardens. It is invasive and does not do well in flower gardens. The Christmas fern is a favorite holiday decoration and for adding to gardens beneath trees.
New England Aster
New England aster flowers are ideal for Connecticut gardens needing a tall, showy plant as the background. Purple flowers look similar to daisies. The average plant height is 3 to 5 feet in sunny- to partial-sun locations. Additional watering helps the plants bloom more when in sunny locations and during the summer months.
Native wild geraniums do well in acidic, moist-soil shade gardens as a border plant or as ground cover. The perennial self-propagates by seed. However, gardeners often start seedlings indoor and transplant. The 1- to 2-foot plants have serrated light green leaves with small, lavender cup-shaped flower blooms.
The Connecticut Botanical Society recommends planting bloodroot as a companion plant for fern gardens. Bloodroot goes dormant in the middle of summer, when ferns begin to reach their peak of growth and color. A single white flower with eight elongated petals emerges from the light-green foliage on each bloodroot plant. Plants grow from 10 to 12 inches.