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BaySafe Gardening Native Plants Program

The “BaySafe Plants Program” is Behnke Nurseries’ native plants program. BaySafe perennials and woody plants are signed with a distinctive blue logo. We don’t use individual labels in order to reduce the use of plastic. The best availability of BaySafe plants is in the spring.

What is a BaySafe plant?

Definitions of “Native” vary. To be called a Behnke BaySafe Plant, the plant species must be native to Maryland. It may also be a cultivar (a horticultural variety) of a native plant. There are many fine garden plants that are hybrids of natives, or native to other parts of the United States. We carry these plants, but we don’t label them as BaySafe.

Why should gardeners grow BaySafe plants?

Native plants are critical for the environment. Many serve as food sources for native insects, which in turn are food sources for birds and other animals. Most native insects are unable to feed on non-native plants; thus, food sources for our song birds are reduced when we plant non-native plants. Yes, you will have some feeding damage, holes in leaves from caterpillars, but it is critical for species diversity that gardeners include native plants in their landscapes.

In addition, since native plants are well-adapted to our local climate and native soil, they will require less care than many non-natives. Because we are a garden center, our BaySafe Plants also offer ornamental qualities; attractive flowers, fruits, foliage and bark. You can improve the environment around your home and beautify your garden at the same time. Availability of plants varies seasonally. Call store or email your question to Contact Us

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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