Growing a beautiful garden takes lots of effort and knowledge. You must know the native plants in Ontario to grow a stunning garden that will serve as a habitat for diverse animals, bees, and plants.

Plants that are not native take a lot of effort and maintenance to grow well. If you are just beginning to grow your garden, you have come to the right place.

Our lawn care experts have created a complete list of Ontario native plants that you can choose from to grow this year. So, keep reading.

What are Native Plants?

A definition post explaining what are native plants

Native plants naturally grow in a certain region and have not been introduced by humans. What this means is that the plant is uniquely adapted to the environmental conditions of the local region.

These plants help attract pollinators, restore the natural habitat, and ensure a healthy landscape. They are also much more resistant to climate change than other plants.

So, if you are looking for the best native plants in Ontario, keep reading our guide.

What Plants are Native to Ontario?

An image of the black eyed susan native plant in Ontario

There are many plants native to Ontario. These include the following:

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Canada anemone
  • Wild strawberry
  • Tulip tree
  • Pawpaw
  • Swamp milkweed
  • Canada Goldenrod
  • Purple coneflower
  • Cardinal flower
  • Black gum
  • Bee balm
  • Wild bergamot
  • Elderberry
  • Foamflower
  • Michigan Lily
  • Red maple
  • Blue False Indigo
  • Little bluestem
  • And much more

This is the complete Ontario native plants list you need to know about. However, each of these plants is good for a unique purpose.

The native plants you want for your garden will differ from those good for hummingbirds or pollinators. Let’s discuss these native plants in Ontario in detail based on their specific purpose:

Native Plants in Ontario for Garden

An infographic on the native plants in Ontario for garden

Landscaping your lawn means adding some beautiful native plants that are aesthetic and require minimal effort. Native plants in Ontario for gardening will help you take the aesthetics of your garden to the next level.

So, if you are looking to grow native plants, here are some good ones you can add to your garden:

  • Black-eyed Susan: These flower from June to September, and the golden petals will instantly brighten your garden
  • Bee Balm: Give this beautiful flower some room to grow, as it needs breathing space to flower beautifully
  • Blue False Indigo: These flowers shine like purple and blue jewels, making it a stunning addition
  • Wild Strawberry: This is a low-maintenance native plant in Ontario for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time on lawn care

Plant any of these or all four to guarantee a beautiful-looking garden this spring in Ontario with some gorgeous Ontario native plants.

Native Plants in Ontario for Shade

An infographic on the native plants in Ontario for shade

There are many shade plants native to Ontario. These plants thrive in the shade, and you can easily plant them in your garden.

Here are some of the top native plants in Ontario for shade:

  • Foamflower: Foamflower will grow beautifully if you have part or dappled shade in your garden. The leaves will stay green all year until it begins to snow.
  • Canada Ginger: These are ideal groundcover native plants for shade gardens. The flowers rest on the ground and spread slowly but steadily to form beautiful colonies.
  • Poke Milkweed: Poke Milkweed is a unique species that will thrive well in shaded areas. It can act as a structural plant in your shade garden and thrive for a long time.
  • Bluestem Goldenrod: These beautiful native plants in Ontario have graceful and arching stems that make it look like your garden is experiencing a fireworks display.

While many other native plants in Ontario grow well in shaded gardens, these are some of the top ones you can plant for beautiful aesthetics.

Native Ontario Plants for Pollinators

Pollinators help carry the pollen from the stamen to the stigma or another plant. If you want to build a healthy ecosystem in your garden, then it is good to have some native Ontario plants for pollinators to do their work.

So, if you are looking for a native pollinator plant list, you are in the right place. Let’s review some of the best ones you can plant in your garden based on the type of pollinators:

Native Ontario Plants for Hummingbirds

An infographic on the native ontario plants for hummingbirds

  1. Bee Balm: These native Ontario plants attract hummingbirds like a moth to a flame. Just make sure to give it some space so that it can do its job without developing any mildew on the leaves.
  2. Cardinal Flower: Hummingbirds find this flower to be a favourite. The candy apple red colour attracts these birds, and they use it for pollination.
  3. Milkweeds: Milkweeds attract a diversity of insects that provide food for the hummingbirds. These flowers are also rich in nectar, making them ideal for these bird species.
  4. Blue Lobelia: These native plants in Ontario work just like the cardinal flower and are an abundant nectar source for hummingbirds. So, be sure to plant these in your garden.

Native Ontario Plants for Butterflies

An infographic on the native ontario plants for butterflies

  1. Black-Eyed Susan: If you want your garden to be filled with butterflies, then these native Ontario plants should be your top choice, as butterflies love the nectar of this wildflower.
  2. Butterfly Weed: As the name suggests, these flowers are a favourite among butterflies. The bright orange petals attract the butterflies to sip on its nectar.
  3. Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea): Butterflies can spot these native plants in Ontario from a mile away. If you want a beautiful butterfly garden, be sure to add these to your garden this year.
  4. Missouri Ironweed: Monarch butterflies love to coast around these flowers and work towards pollination. You can add these in the late season to ensure successful planting.

Native Ontario Plants for Bees

An infographic on the native Ontario plants for bees

  1. Bee Balm: As the name suggests, bee balm is one of the best native Ontario plants for bees. Plant them in your garden and wait for the buzzing soon enough.
  2. Echinacea: These flowers have a bulbous centre filled with pollen that bees can’t get enough of. Even if the soil quality in your garden is not too good, this plant will still thrive.
  3. New England Aster: If you want bees buzzing till late summer and early fall, then these late-blooming plants can help you with it in Ontario.
  4. New Jersey Tea: These deciduous shrubs are a fantastic nectar source for bees. So, don’t forget to add them to your garden.

Native Ontario Plants for Dry Shade

Now that you are familiar with native plants in Ontario for pollinators, you might wonder if there are plants for a dry shade garden. Such plants can easily tolerate dry shade by holding the moisture for a long time.

Please note that you will still have to water these plants well for the first year or two after planting so they can set their roots and be more tolerant to dry shade.

So, here are some native Ontario plants for dry shade you can plant in your garden:

  1. Oak Sedge: If you want a grass-like ground cover for your garden, then this will work well for areas with dry shade. It can grow 30cm tall and is not aggressive to the habitat.
  2. Woodland Sunflower: These flowers are highly drought tolerant and grow very fast. After you plant, just wait and watch the beautiful yellow blooms.
  3. Red Elderberry: This is one of the most popular native Ontario plants for dry shade. It has white flowers and red berries that grow quickly, making any habitat a feast for the eyes.
  4. Maple-Leaved Arrowood: These native Ontario turn white in spring and have dark purple berries in the fall. The leaves turn maroon and orange, making them a gorgeous garden addition.

Flowers Native to Southern Ontario

If you live in Southern Ontario and don’t know the best native flowers in Ontario, then here is a list our lawn experts have created to help you plant the right flowers and plants:

  • Smooth Aster
  • Wild Geranium
  • Zigzag Goldenrod
  • Coneflowers
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Michigan Lily
  • And Swamp Milkweed

Anyone looking to beautify their garden with flowers native to Southern Ontario should opt for any flowers from this list.

Native Evergreen Shrubs in Ontario

While flowers and plants are great to grow, you can add some diversity to your lawn with native evergreen shrubs. Here are some of the best native evergreen shrubs in Ontario you can choose from:

  • Red osier dogwood
  • Gray dogwood
  • Common juniper
  • Juniper
  • New Jersey tea
  • Arborvitae
  • And silky dogwood

If you need assistance planting or caring for these evergreen shrubs in Ontario, you can contact our lawn care experts.

Ontario Native Trees

If you have a big property, planting Ontario native trees is a must. They make the area exquisite and allow many diverse species to come along.

Take a look at the list of native trees in Ontario that our experts have created:

  • Bitter-berry
  • Eastern red cedar
  • Paper birch
  • Pagoda dogwood
  • Kentucky coffeetree
  • Fire cherry
  • Basswood
  • Flowering dogwood
  • Quaking aspen
  • Sugar maple
  • Common hoptree
  • Red maple
  • Swamp birch
  • And many others

If you are confused about these options, you can ask our experts to plant the best native Ontario trees in your garden.

Native Perennials in Ontario

Native perennials in Ontario are a great way to spruce up your garden with flowers and plants that will last several years. If you want hardy perennials that are drought-tolerant and resistant to cold winters, here are some you can grow in your garden:

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Coneflowers
  • Wild Columbine
  • Bush honeysuckle
  • Creeping juniper
  • Marsh marigold
  • Bee balm
  • Bunchberry
  • Virginia bluebells
  • Elderberry
  • Prairie smoke
  • Bottlebrush grass
  • And much more

You can choose from any of these native perennials in Ontario to make your garden look stunning.

Where to Buy Ontario Native Plants?

An infographic on where to buy Ontario native plants

There are many native plant nurseries in Ontario where you can buy plants from. A quick online search will give you a list of nurseries in your region with such plants.

On the other hand, if you want to look for native plants in Ontario yourself, then you can:

  • Go on hikes to view and learn more about these native plants
  • Visit the local botanical gardens to see what native plants thrive
  • Talk to your neighbours and see what plants they are growing that thrive in your neighbourhood

These ways will give you an idea about the best native plants in Ontario that you can later purchase from local nurseries.


What flower is native to Ontario?

Many flowers are native to Ontario, such as coneflowers, bee balm, aster, common sunflower, and more.

What is the most popular plant in Ontario?

Popular plants in Ontario include mulberry, tomato, wild carrot, pepper, common reed, common buckthorn, and more.

Is lavender a native plant in Ontario?

Lavender is not a native plant to Canada, let alone Ontario. Its native roots come from the Mediterranean.

What is Canada’s native plant?

Some native plants of Canada include sand cherry, purple prairie clover, little evening primrose, and many others.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are familiar with the complete list of native plants in Ontario, you can choose some of these to add to your garden, depending on what you want.

However, if you require professional help, please feel free to contact our lawn care experts in Mississauga, who will help take your landscape to the next level.