What is the Georgia Native Plant Initiative?
Making Natives Easy
The Georgia Native Plant Initiative (GNPI) is a networking program for promoting the use of Georgia native plants in all kinds of gardening. This collaboration between growers, landscapers, land and roadside managers, plant societies, garden clubs and Georgia gardeners seeks to transform gardens, roadsides and landscapes across Georgia by showcasing the horticultural appeal and ecological value of our native flora.
Through education and publicity projects, the GNPI links growers with gardeners, promoting the incorporation of natives into all types of gardens. The GNPI also links growers to state and federal agencies involved in habitat restoration efforts and roadside management. Utility companies like Georgia Power and the Georgia Department of Transportation are connected, and the GNPI recommends appropriate species, production protocols and land restoration techniques for managing power-line right-of-ways.
Retail nurseries that produce high quality native plants according to ethical guidelines get special promotion from the GNPI, and projects where native plants have been successfully incorporated are showcased, be they home gardens, roadside plantings, agricultural settings, commercial landscaping or habitat restorations.. It is time for all of us to “Get rooted in Georgia!”
Restoration with Natives
Native plants are the best foundation for diversity and ecological functions in all layers of a plant community. Using native plants also helps prevent the spread of non-native, invasive plants. In the Southeastern United States, native plants for use in land restoration are becoming more readily available. See the Native Plant Nursery List for sources.
When choosing species for restoration, we recommend using species native to the relevant physiographic province. Ideally, the plants should be sourced locally. If that is not possible, using the correct native species is a must, and the plants should be sourced within the state.
Through applied restoration research and networking with our land manager colleagues, we have recommendations for the best management practices concerning a variety of sites, seasons, slopes and soils. We recommend specific suites of species for use in various areas, and we do recommend non-native cover crops, such as Brown-Top Millet or Red Clover, as temporary nurse crops until natives fill in.
Native Plant Initiative Recommended Nurseries
Do you want to use native plants in a gardening, farming or restoring project but don’t know where to purchase plants, plugs, stakes or seeds? Look no further than our list here! These specialty nurseries and growers are producing quality native plants appropriate for Georgia and the SE US, and they are following ethical collection and production guidelines.
None of the organizations listed here have provided the State Botanical Garden of Georgia with any financial or other benefits in order to be included. We offer this resource as a public service, serving Georgia citizens as their State Botanical Garden. We try to keep this list updated. If you have information to share, we would be interested to hear from you.