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Become an expert on native flowers

Keep local love growing this fall with local plants.

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed susans are similar to Europe-native daisies.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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With September right around the corner, we’re approaching the best time to plant wildflowers in SC.

Even Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is getting in on the buzz with an initiative called Planting with a Purpose, which encourages the community to incorporate pollinator habitats into their everyday landscaping.

Here are some native plants to get you started.

Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

Water needs: Moist, Dry
Light needs: Sun
Bloom time: March-November

Growing tips: Black-eyed susan can become aggressive without competition, so consider planting it alongside other plants on this list.

Attracts: Birds, butterflies (Bordered Patch + Gorgone Checkerspot)

Carolina Jessamine

Gelsemium sempervirens

Water needs: Moist
Light needs: Sun, part-shade
Bloom time: March-May; may bloom again in early fall and December

Growing tips: Make sure your soil is never completely dry. Use elastic stretch ties and prune Jessamine early in its blooming season to train and maintain your desired shape.

Attracts: Hummingbirds, butterflies (Spicebush Swallowtail)

Trumpet honeysuckle

Also called coral honeysuckle, don’t confuse this native plant with invasive bush honeysuckle. | Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Trumpet Honeysuckle

Lonicera sempervirens

Water needs: Moist
Light needs: Sun, part-shade
Bloom time: March-June

Growing tips: Rich soil and structural assistance will help this vine climb to its full potential — up to 20 feet.

Attracts: Quail, purple finch, goldfinch, hermit thrush, and American robin

Wild Blue Indigo

Baptisia australis

Water needs: Moist
Light needs: Sun
Bloom time: April-July

Growing tips: Sow indigo in late fall or spring — but the historic South Carolina sprig is a labor of love, and won’t flower for up to three years.

Attracts: Native bumble bees

Wild Red Columbine

Aquilegia canadensis

Water needs: Moist, dry
Light needs: Shade, part-shade
Bloom time: February-July

Growing tips: Plant columbine in thin, well-drained soil to ensure a long lifespan.

Attracts: Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, hawk moths, finches, and buntings

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