The Best Native Plants for Ottawa Gardens

Native plants are always an important addition to any garden. They are stronger, and usually much more resilient to various conditions regarding soil, climate, and even water consumption. Plus, they are less prone to infestations from insects.
It’s important to always incorporate some native species into your garden and softscaping. Here are a few plant species that are native to Eastern Ontario that can make a beautiful addition to your garden.


These deciduous shrubs are generally found in damp soils since they tend to be more sensitive to dry soils. They are common shrubs that can be found scattered wildly, but are great for the garden as many people cultivate them for ornamental purposes, as well as for food and wine.

Staghorn Sumac

These shrubs are exceptionally strong and hardy, and for this reason can be found growing along roadsides, clearings and along the edge of forests. They grow well in most soil conditions and can even tolerate poor, dry soil. They are also resilient against pests and disease. They grow into tree-like sections with unique, twisting branches and foliage that turns into a bright red display during the autumn.


Hawthorns are shrub-like trees that can grow up to 15 metres tall, similar to the sumac. But these are commonly used and trimmed as a hedge plant. These shrubs grow berries and usually have thorns throughout the stems. They are also a favourite for many pollinators and can grow in most soil conditions. And when placed in the sun, they produce beautiful scented flowers.

Bitternut Hickory

This is a strong and very sturdy tree with bark that is often used for making tool handles as well as sports equipment. It prefers conditions of low, moist and nutrient-rich soil. They also produce brown inedible nuts and have darker foliage with dainty pointed leaves.

Balsam Fir

These are one of the most common trees that you will find throughout Ontario and one that many people can easily recognize. They grow tall and narrow with short, firm needles and sticky sap. And they are of course, a favourite for Christmas trees since they have that beautiful great narrow shape and give off that wonderful fresh scent.

Find a full list of native plants here

Native species are always best to plant throughout your garden. They are much stronger and resilient against fluctuations of climate and soil conditions. When it comes time to plan out your garden in Ottawa, stick to some of these great native plants.

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