Incorporate Native Plants Into Your Wisconsin Garden Design

One recent trend that landscape designers are using in their garden designs is to incorporate a variety of native plants as opposed to introducing new plants to the climate and environment. There are a lot of interesting plant and flower varieties that are native to Wisconsin that landscape designers can use to add variety and appeal to your backyard design.

Some common native plants that can be incorporated into Wisconsin landscape designs include:

  •  Baptisia (common name: Blue False Indigo)
  • Echinacea (common name: Purple Coneflower)
  • Schizacharium (common name: Little Blue Stem Grass)
  • Sporobolus (common name: Prairie Dropseed Grass)
  • Liatris (common name: Gayfeather)
  • Rudbeckia (common name: Black Eyed Susans)
  • Silphium (common name: Cup Plant)


All of these plants are acclimated to Wisconsin’s seasons and temperature fluctuations. They are hardy enough to withstand our frigid winter temperatures as well as our hot, humid summers. Common characteristics of local native plants include colorful blooms, seed heads, and interesting foliage.

One unique characteristic of Silphium is the structure of its leaves. The leaves form a cup which collects rainwater for birds to drink. In general, natives produce flowers that attract indigenous birds, bees, and butterflies at different times of the growing season.

Using Native Plants in Garden Design

One strategy is to use a mix of native plants so that something will always be blooming and adding color to your garden. For example, Liatris blooms in mid-summer, Rudbeckia blooms in late summer, and Schizacharium has blue foliage all season with some amazing fall color.

There are many different ways to incorporate native plants into your Wisconsin backyard design. They can be used in foundation beds with ornamental deciduous/evergreen shrubs and trees. On larger lots, a mixture of native plants can create a backyard natural area to cut down the amount of lawn; they can also be used to camouflage septic system mounds. Sporobolus is good to use as ground cover throughout your backyard design.

In addition to being a beautiful addition to your garden design, native plants are beneficial for their ability to thrive on little more than local soil and rainwater.

Native plants are not high maintenance, being able to thrive on in the local soil (with the addition of rainwater, of course). They are also beneficial for bees and birds.

With the wide array of native plants varieties available, there should be something that suits every Wisconsin backyard design.



*Image by Denis.prévôt [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons