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Choosing Plants


Quick Tips

  • Right plant, right place, right purpose. The right plant will defend itself against pests, fit the space, do well in the amount of sunlight and water that's available, and tolerate your soil's pH.
  • Planting trees? Think small. Small diameter trees require less maintenance and become established in the landscape more quickly than larger diameter trees.
  • Go native. Try growing some native plants. They’re well adapted to Maine’s climate, so that means less work and more reward for you. Purchase only nursery grown natives, not ones dug from the wild. Choose a few that are food for birds, bees and other beneficial insects.
  • Avoid invaders. Stay away from invasive plants. They spread uncontrollably, choking out native vegetation, which can change forever the availability of food and shelter for wildlife. Common culprits include purple loosestrife, Japanese barberry, Oriental bittersweet, Japanese knotweed and multiflora rose. If you’re harboring an invasive plant already, remove it, including all of the roots. Maine Invasive Plants
  • Prevent the predictable. Avoid plants prone to pest problems. Shop for insect- and disease-resistant plants to further reduce the need for pesticides. You can get the low down on a plant’s pest-off powers from plant books and catalogues, garden centers, nurseries, and your county Cooperative Extension office.
  • Plant buffers. Plant trees, shrubs and groundcovers to create “buffers” (natural filters) along shorelines and downhill of stormwater runoff. Do not rake up the “duff” (nature’s mulch of twigs, pine needles and leaves ) in the buffer zone.