In the Pacific Northwest, we are fortunate to be home to a lush green environment with a wide variety of plant species, rich in color, texture and local history.

Pacific Northwest native plants are not just beautiful, they are functional too. Planting natives is the best place to start when the goal is restoring ecosystems, attracting wildlife and supporting pollinators.

Northwest plants, animals, and insects have lived together for thousands of years, so it’s no surprise that our native critters prefer the familiar. Adding trees to support insects and caterpillars will bring birds.

Using native perennials will bring butterflies. Almost all native plants have a role in supporting pollinators. Many native plants will adapt to differing environments, but it is still important to put the right plant in the right place.

As our wild spaces decrease the importance of adding native plants to the urban landscape grows. Planting natives is the best place to start when the goal is restoring ecosystems, attracting wildlife, and supporting pollinators.

Things to consider when choosing plants:

  • Sun/Shade requirements
  • Size at maturity
  • Purpose in the landscape

Just like other nursery plants, NW natives need proper care. Here are a few tips for successfully establishing new plantings:

  • Planting in autumn is ideal, but spring is good too. The closer you get to summer, the more water you will need to provide.
  • Soil preparation is important. Break up existing soil in an area as wide as possible, but dig holes only as deep as the root ball. Planting depth should be flush with existing soil or slightly raised.
  • Water new plantings thoroughly on planting day (even if it’s raining) and weekly during dry spells until plants are rooted into their new sites. We recommend a long....slow.....watering so roots are sure to get soaked.
  • Apply 1-2” of mulch. This is the best way to amend heavy soil, keep moisture levels more even and protect against weeds.
  • Remember that established plants need water in extreme conditions. They will appreciate a deep soaking during long, hot, dry spells.

NW Natives for Backyard Habitat Certification

If you dream of having your garden certified as a Backyard Habitat with Portland Audubon and the Columbia Land Trust, we have a variety of NW Natives throughout the year that can help make your dream a reality! You can check out our list of NW Native Plants that we often have on hand to get yourself started, and if you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Note: New NW Natives arrive every week at both locations. Please give us a call or stop on by for current availability!


Insect Host Plants Include:

  • Abies grandis – Grand Fir
  • Acer macrophyllum – Bigleaf Maple
  • Calocedrus decurrens – Incense Cedar
  • Holodiscus discolor – Oceanspray
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii – Douglas Fir
  • Quercus garryana – Oregon White Oak

Fruit & Seed Plants:

  • Alnus rubra – Red Alder
  • Amelanchier alnifolia – Serviceberry
  • Fragaria – Wild Strawberry
  • Lonicera involucrata – Twinberry
  • Mahonia – Oregon Grape
  • Malus fusca – Western Crabapple
  • Prunus emarginata – Bitter Cherry
  • Sambucus racemosa – Red Elderberry
  • Vaccinium ovatum – Evergreen Huckleberry

  • Attracting wildlife
  • Ecological restoration
  • Acclimatized plants
  • Feeling more connected to nature
  • Pest and disease resistance
  • Reducing storm-water run-off

See our specialty pages for other benefits:

  • Ceanothus cuneatus – Buckbrush 8-10’, sun, heat, drought tolerant, Zone 6.
  • Ceanothus thyrsiflorus – Blue Blossom 8-10’, sun, heat, drought tolerant, Zone 8.
  • Mahonia aquifolium – Tall Oregon Grape 6-8’, sun or shade, Zone 5.
  • Myrica californica – Pacific Wax Myrtle 10-12’, sun or shade, Zone 7.
  • Vaccinium ovatum – Evergreen Huckleberry 4-6’, sun or shade, Zone 7.

Top Annuals

We offer a number of brochures on creating potted designs. Download all that look interesting!

Annual Shade Containers

Containers & Baskets

Edible Plant Containers

Water Bowl Plantings

Bulb Forcing


  • Fragaria chiloensis – Coast Strawberry
  • Linnaea borealis – Twinflower
  • Polypodium glycyrhizza – Licorice Fern
  • Sedum oreganum – Oregon Stonecrop


Audubon Sanctuary Botanical Signs Interpretive Guide

Native Plant Society of Oregon

The Oregon Flora Project

City of Portland: Native Plant List

Oregon State University: Gardening with Oregon Native Plants West of the Cascades by Linda R. McMahan

This publication provides an introduction and guide for those who are interested in Pacific Northwest native plants and would like to incorporate natives into their home gardens. Included are:

  • Basic information about selection, establishment, and care
  • A list of recommended Pacific Northwest native plants; the plant list focuses on plants that are relatively easy to acquire, establish, and grow. Exceptions or special requirements are noted.