Native Charleston Plants

Springtime is arguably one of the most beautiful times of year in Charleston. Plants begin to grow with the warmer temperatures, bringing beautiful blooms and sweet aromas that can be enjoyed throughout the city. 


How can you bring some of that beauty into your own backyard? 


There are many options when it comes to planting – and the good news is that there are options for ALL yards and ALL lifestyles. 


For the “lazy” gardener who wants to enjoy the beauty of nature, but maybe doesn’t have enough time to maintain a fully seasonal garden, fear not! There are options for you to enjoy with minimal maintenance. 


If you’re into the “Go big or go home” mantra, you’re in luck, too. Charleston’s USDA Plant Hardiness Zone is between 8a and 8b. To the non-planty people, that might not mean much to you, but rest assured it means that during the warmer months especially, you can enjoy a wide variety of plants, including tropical variants that thrive in our warmer humid temperatures. 


Charleston is also home to a variety of native plants that thrive in our diverse and extreme weather conditions. With our risk of hurricanes, sandy soil, and occasional droughts during the hot summer months, finding a plant that can survive these conditions can seem like a tough feat, but we have you covered. 


Native plants are loved by beginners and professionals alike. They offer low maintenance since they grow naturally in our environment, stand up to our weather and soil conditions, and even provide pollinators with their preferred food and shelter. 


Here are some of our favorites: 


Also known as Pink Muhly Grass, Sweetgrass is a native plant with a deep-rooted history in Charleston. The famous sweetgrass baskets of Charleston are constructed with these blades. 

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan is a perennial, which means it comes back year after year! Plant it once in full Charleston sun, and enjoy beautiful blooms every year. 

Purple Coneflower

Plant in full sun, and it’ll bloom for you year after year. Pollinators love these!! 

Carolina Jessamine

Jessamine is one of the sweetest smelling vines you can find in Charleston. The vibrant yellow blooms are stunning, but the aroma will stop you in your tracks. Take time to stop and smell the flowers. 

Trumpet Flower

Trumpet flowers are one of the more beautiful vines that can thrive in part-sun. The beautiful blooms are jaw-dropping and bring variety to Charleston gardens. 

Southern Magnolia

The Southern Magnolia is one of the most beautiful trees in the south. Although it can leave a mess as it sheds leaves consistently, the aroma and blooms are definitely worth the clean up. Pollinators love this tree and it’s a great place to find some shade in the summertime. 

Live Oak

The live oak is probably the first plant you think of when you hear Charleston. Live oaks are extremely unique in the fact that they provide nutrients to one another through their root systems. They are excellent at absorbing water in flood-prone zones.


Authored by Nicole Hein