Plants of Merit is a program created and sponsored by the Missouri Botanical Garden. The goal is to educate gardeners about plants that are high-quality and dependable. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, “Plants of Merit are plants selected for their outstanding quality and dependable performance for the lower Midwest. They grow consistently well in Missouri, central and southern Illinois….”
Examples of plants of merit include:
- Large-cupped daffodils
- Eastern redbud
- Butterfly pea
So what makes a Plant of Merit?
Not Known To Be Invasive
First and foremost, Plants of Merit are not known to be invasive to our area. This is essential in keeping native species safe and contributing to backyard diversity.
For a plant to be added to the list, it must be observed for five years.
Easy To Grow And Maintain
Next, Plants of Merit are easy to grow and maintain so that everyone can enjoy backyard gardening. These plants can typically tolerate a wide range of conditions like shade and sun and wet and dry soils. Though they can tolerate different conditions, that doesn’t mean they can be planted wherever.
Before planting in your backyard, have a plan and choose plants that are best suited for your location. Walk around your yard at different times of day and in various weather conditions to see how much rainfall, shade, and sun each area gets. In doing so, you’ll help your plants thrive.
Resistant To Diseases And Pests
Plants of Merit are also known to be resistant to diseases and pests, like emerald ash borer. This helps slow the spread of devastating diseases and pests that can harm native populations.
Has Ornamental Value
A Plant of Merit is also valued for its ornamental value, meaning it is sought after for its looks. This could mean it’s chosen for its beautiful flowers, foliage, or berries. For example, the southern magnolia is prized for its creamy, showy flowers. Red oak is known for its brilliant fall color.
Reasonably Available To Purchase
Finally, Plants of Merit are reasonably available to purchase in nurseries in our area. This means these plants aren’t considered “rare” or endangered. When purchasing from nurseries, make sure the nursery is reputable and free of diseases.
Consult The Professionals At Hansen’s Tree Service
At Hansen’s Tree Service, our professional arborists are always more than happy to recommend native tree species for your location and needs. We also provide at-home tree consultations and hassle-free estimates so you can choose the best trees and tree care methods.