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Let’s Nurture Native This Fall

Across much of the nation, Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. Although we may not yet notice cooler days, migrating birds and butterflies are already heading our way. What better reason to squeeze a few more plants into your garden than to provide sustenance for our migrating friends?

Here are a few that we recommend:

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is a woody, deciduous, perennial shrub with clusters of showy purple berries that are a good fall food source for songbirds. Its showy spring clusters of white flowers are a great nectar source for bees. Further to our north, this plant is also a food source for Spring Azure and Snowberry Clearwing caterpillars.

Joe Pye-Weed (Eutrochium maculatum) is a tall (5-7’), clump-forming perennial that typically blooms from mid summer through September. Its tiny pinkish-purple flowers are a great nectar source for bees and butterflies and small birds eat the seeds.

Narrowleaf Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius) is a tall (6-8’) perennial with showy yellow daisy-like flowers. A fall bloomer, this is a great late-season nectar source for bees and butterflies. While deadheading can help prolong the bloom season, be sure to leave some of the spent flower heads: small birds devour its seeds.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is an herbaceous perennial with large, pinkish-purple daisy-like flowers. From early summer through mid-fall, this is a great nectar source for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Spent flower heads produce seeds that small birds eat.

Christmasberry – (Lycium carolinianum) is a woody evergreen shrub typically in coastal landscapes but very adaptable to a variety of sites. It produces delicate lavender flowers for pollinators typically in the fall followed by bright red berries in December to feed our winter bird population with little else has berries. It does have some thorns. It can grow 3 – 6’ tall.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of any of these plants and how they #NurtureNative, please stop by our nursery. We’d love to discuss how they can fit into your garden design.