What to Plant:
Native Plants for the Roadside
New England roadsides may just be one of the more challenging areas to plant. The requirements look like a nightmare job posting. Wanted: Low-maintenance blooming plants that don’t grow too tall and need little care to establish. Must be able to tolerate the following conditions:
Higher than average heat as radiated from the asphalt roadways and pollution from vehicles, dry, nutrient-deprived, sandy soil which is often hard packed, half of the year you will experience drought, the other half you will be covered with mountains of snow and will often have salt winged over you. You need to be attractive, not weedy, and you can’t grow too tall so as to block the view of drivers. You may need to respond well to periodic mowing, self-seeding is a plus. Compensation from pollinators commensurate with experience.
If you are up to the challenge, these plants have all passed our “most likely to succeed” criteria. Best of Luck.
Printable PDF here.
online: "Maine Department of Transportation Roadside Guide" - in collaboration with Wild Seed Project
online: "Guide to Roadside Revegetation" - U.S. Department of Transportation
online: "Creating Habitat in the Space Between the Sidewalk and the Curb" - Ecological Landscape Alliance