Native Plant – DB

by Dave McGee

This file includes native plants from the Native Plants for Virginia’s Capital Region Guide (2nd Edition, May 2020), plus a few other well-known natives. The species in red have been found most valuable for supporting lepidoptera, pollinators, and other insects (Sources: Talamy; Brining Nature Home, and Schmotzer; 2013)


This Excel file is intended to help users identify the  ‘right plant for the right place’. Here are the Step-by-step instructions to use the model that follows:


  1. Once you select the area to be planted, please note the amount of moisture, soil type, and the amount of sun and shade the plants will have.  Please also consider the mature height and width of the plant, and the time you wish the plant to bloom.
  2. In the Excel file please note each title in Row 2 has a small downward arrow at the right. This enables you to filter or temporarily select the information you want to view. This will not cause any data in the file to be deleted.
  3. For example, move your cursor to Cell J2 (Light Needs). Click on the downward arrow in J2 and you will see a drop-down menu of the range of sun needs. All lines will have a checked box on the left. Please note some plants can tolerate a range (e.g., ‘Sun to Part Shade’), while other plant needs are more specific (e.g., ‘Sun’ or ‘Shade’).
  4. Click on the box to the left of ‘Select All’ – this will delete the checks on all lines. Please click the boxes in all rows that apply to your planting area. For example, if the area is sunny 6 or more hours in the summer, you could click ‘Sun’, ‘Sun to Part Shade’ and ‘Sun to Full Shade’. Then press OK, which shows only the plants having the sun requirements you selected.
  5. Now move your cursor to Cell K2 (Water Needs). Repeat the procedure in (3) and (4). After selecting the amount of water in your area and clicking OK, you will have a list of plants suited to the sun and water availability in your planting area.
  6. You may then select the preferred bloom time (Cells F2 and G2) and/or plant height (Cells H2 and I2) and then filter accordingly, following the procedure in (3) and (4).
  7. You now should have a short list of the plants suited to your planting area and meeting your height and bloom requirements. Please refer to the Native Plants for Virginia’s Capital Region Guide or other sources to select the plant you wish to add to your garden.
  8. If you save the model on your computer, please move your cursor to all cells in Row 2 that you filtered. For each cell please click on the downward arrow. Please click on ‘Select All’, which will remove the filters that you set up.  Then save the file, so it will be ready for the next time you plant.