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Plant Selection

1. Diversify!

Using a mix of plants from different Family, Genus, and Species in your landscape …

  • … Guards against a disproportionate loss of plants due to a harmful event – such as pests, disease, droughts, etc.
  • … Adds year-round visual interest
  • … Provides more useful environmental functions, such as visual screens, windbreaks, shade, food and shelter for birds and other pollinators

2. Right Plant – Right Place

  • Consider the mature size of the plant, and the local environment – amount of sun, moisture, drainage and soil.
  • Avoid invasive plants, which out-compete native ones and harm the environment. Review the Virginia Invasive Species List, published by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, at
  • Plant native plants. The Plant Virginia Natives Marketing Partnership website offers resources to help identify plants native to Virginia and is a place to start for guidance about landscaping with Virginia’s native plants. 
  • Select plants that are suitable for the USDA Hardiness Zone where they are grown. The hardiness zone defines the annual average minimum temperatures. Henrico County is located in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7a (east of Richmond; 0-5° F), and Zone 7b (west of Richmond; 5-10° F). Go to to view the Plant Hardiness Zone map.