Native Plants for Easy Gardening in Milwaukee, WI

As you plan out your next big gardening project, you may be thinking about the colors you want to see in your yard, the environment you want to create and the amount of time gardening needed from your busy schedule. By incorporating native plants into your garden, you can save some of the time and hassle of maintaining a gorgeous garden in Milwaukee. Here are some easy gardening tips and plants native to the Milwaukee area. 


What are native plants?

Native plants have a history of growing in the region, ecosystem or habitat without human introduction. Local plant and animal wildlife rely on these types of plants to survive. For you, the gardener, they also have benefits you can enjoy when choosing these. These plants are low maintenance — once they are established in the soil, they usually don’t need much attention. They also typically use less water than non-native plants, meaning you’ll save water AND money taking care of them.

If you have a cactus in your yard, it’s probably not a native plant to Wisconsin. But there are many native plants in the area that you can include in your yard.


What native plants can I use in my Milwaukee garden?

Milwaukee has many native plants, including trees, shrubs, and flowers. Little bluestem is a native grass, and silver maples can provide shade for your whole yard when they’re fully grown. While beautiful, they may not be the easiest to add to garden beds. Here are six native flower types to Wisconsin that will add color and flair to your yard:

  • Cream false indigo: This native perennial blooms in the spring with white flowers. Drought tolerant and favoring full sun or partial shade, the flower and foliage of this plant offer a beautiful contrast.
  • Purple coneflower: These popular purple flowers add color to your yard, with tall, large flowers that do best with full sun. These don’t require much water aside from normal Wisconsin rainfall but will keep coming back year after year.
  • Rattlesnake master: Small greenish-white thistle flowers flourish in the summer months of Milwaukee. Moist but well-draining soil and a lot of sun will help you see the best results with these native blooms.
  • Prairie blazingstar: For dry to slightly wet soils with access to full sun, these drought-tolerant plants create a beautiful purple tuft. The name comes from the flowers, which resemble a blazingstar when in full bloom.
  • Wild quinine: This perennial, white flower often resembles a pearl from a distance. The small round buds with the bright green leaves make for a great addition to other colorful displays. Full sun and low water are all this flower needs to thrive.
  • Ohio goldenrod: As you would expect from their name, these golden yellow flowers thrive with full sun and plenty of moisture, but won’t require much more of your time and energy than the other five flowers on this list.

Visit our Milwaukee lawn care page for help with incorporating native plants into your garden!


Jennifer Klemmetson