Summer heat and drought won't faze these tough plants. Plus, pollinators love their blooms.

By Viveka Neveln
Updated January 13, 2021
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One of the best things about growing native plants is that they are very hardy and easy to grow. And their beautiful blooms and nutritious seeds draw pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. This prairie-inspired garden plan contains several blooming perennials and ornamental grasses that are indigenous to the Midwest. False blue indigo, prairie blazing star, and little bluestem are just a sampling of the gorgeous natives in this varied design. Like a true prairie, this garden plan needs full sun. And while the plants will need extra water their first year to get them established, after that they'll usually get by on what nature provides.

Credit: Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants for Creating the Prairie Garden Plan

  • Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), Zones 3-7
  • Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Zones 4-8
  • Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), Zones 4-7
  • Pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), Zones 4-7
  • Prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya), Zones 4-7
  • Downy phlox (Phlox pilosa), Zones 4-7
  • Wild petunia (Ruellia humilis), Zones 4-7
  • False blue indigo (Baptisia australis), Zone 4-8

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting.

Get the Free Prairie Garden Plan

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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