Growing Your Missouri Native Plant Garden

From fragrant, vibrant blooms to vegetables and lettuce, many people are getting in and turning the dirt this growing season. With more time to tend them and more time to spend outside dreaming of what a garden would do to their outdoor living space, more people are trying their hand at gardening. In addition to the more traditional flower and vegetable gardens, native gardens are attracting a lot of interest this year, as well. Like their name implies, a native garden is planted by sourcing Missouri native plants from your local nursery.

As low maintenance, wildlife friendly landscaping options are an easy way to bring a more natural, woodland feel to your home garden. Used to surviving in a climate that varies as greatly as Missouri’s, native gardens are easier to care for, sustainable plant options because they don’t require the fertilization and watering schedule plants meant for other areas need to survive. Local birds, bees, butterflies, and insects are also drawn to them for food and shelter.

There are a number of approaches you can take to growing a Missouri native garden, and here are a few of the common garden types in our area.


If you have a more open area that gets lots of sun and has rocky soil, your Missouri native garden would do well with glade plants that thrive in hot weather and little moisture. Common glade plants include:

Solar Flare Prairieblues False Indigo flowers (Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Butterfly Weed flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)


Colorful, nectar producing flowers are best for attracting butterflies to your garden, and they also attract another pollinator friend – the bee. Missouri native butterfly gardens are great environments for egg laying and they also provide food for caterpillars. Some great butterfly garden plants include:

Purple Dome Aster flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Swamp Milkweed flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)


A rain garden is not only pretty to look at, it is a great solution for yards that have naturally low areas where rainwater pools. The plants used in a rain garden thrive on water, and one way to help them thrive is to direct downspout drainage into your rain garden. Popular Missouri native rain garden plants include:

Blue Zinger Blue Sedge
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Hot Lips Turtlehead flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)


Shaded areas with many plenty of openings where the sun can peek through are great for woodland gardens because the plants in these garden types typically require only partial-sun. Woody plants, trees, and shrubs are ideal for starting a Missouri native woodland garden, and it is home to a number of diverse low or partial light plants beneath the trees. These plants are great for woodland gardens:

Decadence® Vanilla Cream False Indigo flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Eastern Redbud flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Gatsby Gal® Hydrangea Gatsby Gal® Hydrangea flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)


Prairie gardens are primarily made up of native grasses and flowers and are prominent throughout Missouri because they thrive in dry, windy, and in lots of sun and wind. They are also known to help improve soil drainage and water absorption. Plants for a native Missouri prairie garden include:

Issai Beautyberry fruit
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Purple Coneflower flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)


These are only a few of the native Missouri plants we carry at Frisella Nursery. If you’re interested in bringing some natural beauty to your backyard, stop by & say, “Hi” to learn more about designing your ideal native garden and shop our 30-acre open air nursery.

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