It’s Time to Order Native Plants

Red flowering currant is an oak associated native plant. Photo by Mike Pennington

Native plants are a great way to beautify your yard, pollinator garden, or hedgerow! While wintertime may seem gloomy, the promise of a new growing season is just around the corner. Now is the perfect time to set your plans into motion. Several of our local area soil and water conservation districts offer native tree, shrub, and plants for sale each year.

Why are native plants an excellent addition to your landscape?

  • Create habitat to support native wildlife including pollinators and beneficial insects
  • Require little to no water after they are established besides good, old Oregon rain
  • Environmentally friendly and require less work for the homeowner
  • Grow happily and heartily in their native soil, reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizers

There are a wide variety of local, native plant species ideal for the Willamette Valley. Many are readily available for a great price from the following soil and water conservation districts.

Due to Covid-19, East Multnomah SWCD has cancelled their 2021 native plant sales. You may have to drive a little farther, but the following SWCDs are still offering native plants.

Marian SWCD – Online ordering between January 5th and February 26th. Pick up orders at Bauman’s Farm, 12989 Howell Prairie Rd., NE, Gervais, OR on Friday or Saturday, March 12th or 13th, at your selected pick up time.

Yamhill SWCD – Pre-orders are closed. Plant sale will be held on March 5th and 6th, 2021. View site for plants available day of sale.

Clark Conservation District (WA) – Online pre-ordering is open now and closes on February 11th, 2021. Pick up orders at 11104 NE 149th St., Brush Prairie, WA, on Saturday, February 27th, 2021 at your selected pick-up time.

Benton SWCD– Online ordering is open now and closes December 31, 2020 or until all plants are sold. Pick up orders at the Benton County Fair Grounds on February 6, 2021 at your reserved pick-up time.

Want to learn more about which native plants are right for your property?

Oregon Grape is both a native plant and the Oregon state flower!

Oregon Grape provides habitat for birds and pollinators and is the Oregon state flower!

The following guides provide excellent information on trees, shrubs, and ground cover for native plants. These natives will thrive here in the Pacific Northwest and will provide valuable habitat for our native wildlife, including pollinators.

Native Plants for Pacific Northwest Gardens

OSU Extension Native Plant Gardening

Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards

Check out these quick tips for planting success:

  • Match each plant to a specific location on your property according to sunlight, moisture, and drainage.
  • Keep the roots moist (but not in standing water) until planting.
  • Plant as soon as possible and water well. The advantage of winter planting is that the roots have a chance to establish before the hot, summer weather hits.
  • For bare root plants, make sure that the crown (the area where the stem joins the roots) is at the soil level.
  • Dig a large enough hole to ensure that roots are not bent back upwards.
  • When planting a potted plant, make sure the crown is at the soil level, loosen the root ball so the plant’s roots will grow into the surrounding soil, and make sure the hole is at least half again the size of the root ball.
  • Plan on watering plants throughout the first summer, and often if it is a particularly hot or dry season.

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