Choosing Native Plantings for Your Long Island Home

Choosing Native Plantings for Your Long Island NY Landscape Architecture

While selecting the best greenery for your Long Island, NY property, the number one priority for any landscaper should be to identify native species and choose from among these plants. Long Island is the natural home to a plethora of trees, shrubs, perennials, and ferns, so staying within the bounds of native plants does not mean limiting your choices in terms of function or aesthetic appeal. While selecting native plants for your home, consider the height that the planting will reach, the amount of sun and water required, and the requirements of the particular area in question.


When planning to incorporate trees into your property, it’s wise to consider the function you’d like the tree to fulfill and the appearance (shape, texture, coloring) desired. For example, if you require trees to increase privacy, evergreens best meet this need as they retain their leaves year-round. A Loblolly Pine, for example, is a rapidly growing native evergreen ideal for wind and privacy screening for large properties. On the other hand, if shade during the summer is your goal, you’ll likely prefer trees with a wide display of branches such as the Willow Oak.

Additionally, for aesthetic purposes, you may choose a tree variety that creates stunning fall displays and brilliant color changes. These may include the White Oak, Scarlet Oak, and a plethora of birch trees. Different tree varieties grow at different rates, grow to different heights, and provide different benefits to your property. Remember to select one that matches the capacity of the space available.


When choosing shrubs, you’ll also find a breadth of options. Whether you require additional privacy or wish to incorporate flowering features into the outdoor space, this area offers multiple options. Elderberry and Azalea varieties produce beautiful colored flowers, with the elderberry also bearing fruit, for those seeking to add easy Spring glamour. For others who prefer privacy and sophistication in their shrubbery, a Marsh Elder maintains a stable appearance year-round and grows up to 8 feet for maximum privacy.


Adding vines to your landscape contributes a sense of the romantic and a natural beauty. When choosing vines, you may wish to base your choice on the appearance of the flowers the vine produces. Whether you choose a trumpet creeper to attract hummingbirds or a Virginia creeper that attracts all kinds of birds and produces a vibrant red flower during Fall, native vines provide a lovely enhancement to the aesthetic.


Choosing perennials is a great option for those who enjoy flowers throughout the year but dislike yearly planting. Make sure that you opt for a variety of plants with various bloom times. Doing so will ensure that you enjoy flowers throughout the year rather than during only one season. A variety of perennials ensures that you’ll enjoy an increase in butterflies and birds visiting your property, as well as low-maintenance, natural beauty.


Whether you have planter boxes atop retaining walls or hanging pots on your patio, add a few ferns to the mix. Choose these plants depending upon the level of water available. A Sensitive Fern requires a wet area; Maidenhair Ferns require average amounts of water; and an Interrupted Fern prefers dry soil. As you choose options for planting, make sure to include an assortment of colors, and take note of the required maintenance for optimal growth.