The Q&A Archives: Where do I plant certain Native Species?

Question: I live in the Southern Portion of New Jersey, this passed Earth Day my mom purchased some native plants and we don't know if there are certain places or needs that they have or if they can be planted anywhere the names of the plants are as follows : Lowbush blueberry, Rosa Rugosa, Magnolia Virginiana, Chamaedaphne, Virginia Rye, Ostrich Fern, Irish, any help you could give me would be appreciated thank you

Answer: Yes, just as with any other plant the different natives do have their preferred locations or growing conditons. Some of these plants have very specific needs.

Blueberries are very fussy about their soil. They require an extremely acidic soil that is organic and humusy, evenly moist and yet well drained; they also require at least a half a day of sun.

Rosa rugosa is not so particular about soil as long as it is a well drained site (meaning not soggy or wet), but it does need a minimum of a half a day of direct sun including the hour of noon. All day sun is even better.

Magnolia virginina is a deciduous magnolia that does best in acidic, humusy and evenly moist to damp to wet soils; it will even tolerate a bog situation although it will grow in a landscape situation as well. It is fairly adaptable as to lighting conditions.

Ostrich fern will do well in humusy soil that is evenly moist and in dappled light all day, or morning sun.

Virginia rye or Elymus virginicus does well in a sunny location wiht average to damp soil, it is native to seasonally flooded wetlands and damp prairies.

I am not sure if this is the same plant as what you have but Chamaedaphne calyculata is sometimes called leatherleaf and is native to bogs so it would need a very wet acidic soil.

Unfortunately I am not at all sure which plant you are calling Irish, unfortunately this is just a partial name.

You may want to consult with your local county extension to see if you have planting sites that are well suited for these, they can help you with analyzing the growing conditions on your property and with soil testing and how to amend your soil based on the test results for growing the blueberry for instance. Good luck with your plants!

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