University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System: Water Quality and the Home Landscape

Sustainable Landscaping: Native Plants


by Carl Salsedo, Ph.D.

Extension Educator, Horticulture

Native Plants as alternatives to traditional choices. How can I begin landscaping with native plants?

If you are planning a landscape on an undeveloped lot, first examine the existing plants to determine which habitat type you will be working within. Identify native trees and and see how many could be incorporated into your new landscape. Protecting existing native plants in a new landscape reduces the number of plants to be purchased and may provide an instant "mature landscape."

In an existing landscape, replace plants that are lost to disease or storm damage with native species. Lists of native and invasive plant species, and books and pamphlets describing how to use them in home landscaping are available from a number of sources including the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut College Arboretum.