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Native Plant Combinations for the Landscape

Many people who visit our FloraKansas Plant Sale are very interested in converting their gardens to using native plants, but they often are unsure of which plants to put together and in what configurations. Here are a few tried and true combinations that I have enjoyed, both in our plantings at the Arboretum, and at my home. I hope these suggestions start to get your creativity flowing.

(In addition, you may want to check out these other resources: Landscaping Recipe Card, Establishing Native Plants, and Other Native Plant Landscape Designs)

Perennial Gardens Using Natives

Use these native plant combinations in either a foundation or island planting. Each garden can be modified to fit your space. These plant combinations have been carefully selected to provide year around interest with minimal maintenance required, and will attract a diverse group of pollinators.


  • Five Panicum ‘Northwind’ and five Baptisia ‘Pink Truffles’ in the back row, alternating
  • Seven Aster ‘Raydon’s Favorite’, middle back row
  • Seven Penstemon ‘Dark Towers’,  middle front row
  • Seven Solidago ‘Little Lemon’ and seven Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’ in the front row, alternating


PERENNIAL BORDER-SUN Less than 36 inches tall

  • Seven Panicum virgatum Cheyenne Sky’ in the back row
  • Seven Agastache ‘Summer Love’  in the middle back
  • Five Echinacea paradoxa and five Schizachryium ‘Standing Ovation’, alternating in the middle front
  • Five Aster ‘Snow Flurry’, five Callirhoe involucrata and five Bouteloua ‘Blonde Ambition alternating in the front row

Purple Poppy Mallow and Blue Grama


  • Three Cephalanthus ‘Sugar Shack’ (Center)
  • Five Schizachyrium ‘Blue Paradise’, five Liatris spicata ‘Alba’, three Butterfly weed, alternating in the middle row back
  • Five Aster ‘October Skies’’ and three butterfly weed middle row front
  • Seven Oenothera macrocarpa and seven Prairie Dropseed, alternating front row

Butterfly weed and Shasta Daisy


  • Three Oakleaf Hydrangea, back row
  • Five Solidago caesia, middle row back
  • Five Aquilegia canadensis and five Polygonatum biflorum, middle row front, alternating
  • Nine Carex eburnea, front row

Landscaping class recipe cards-2005

Plants for containers

These combinations will provide interesting colors, textures and blooms throughout the growing season. Each list of plants are for larger pots that are at least 12-18 inches in diameter. Place center plants in pot first, then arrange other perennials evenly around the rim of the container.  I really enjoyed my potted native plants last year.  It was amazing to watch the pollinators come up to my back deck.  It was like having a front row seat.


Three Coreopsis ‘Cosmic Eye’
Two Heuchera
One Gaura ‘Rosyjane’
One Schizachyrium ‘Twilight Zone’ (Center)


Three Agastache ‘Raspberry Summer’
One Panicum ‘Northwind’ (Center)
Three Monarda ‘Grape Gumball’


One Physocaprus ‘Tiny Wine’
Three Agastache ‘Kudos Yellow’
Three Bouteloua ‘Blonde Ambition’


Three Heuchera ‘Autumn Leaves’
Three Carex appalachica
One Solidago odora (Center)


Three Native Ferns
Two Wild Ginger
One Aruncus ‘Misty Lace’ (Center)


One Rhus ‘Tiger Eyes’ (Center)
Two Heuchera ‘Obsidian’
Two Aster divaricatus ‘Eastern Star’



These are do it yourself native plant combinations that will work well, if matched to your landscape.  They will provide easy care, attract a wide variety of wildlife, while providing beauty for your garden.  Just choose a set of plants that fit your area or pot.

As the saying goes, “…if you build it they will come” or in this case “…if you plant it they will come.”  Have fun in your garden this year.