Recommended Plant List

SMLA Recommended Plant list

For riparian buffers and other landscaping in Bedford, Franklin, Pittsylvania, and Roanoke counties

The SMLA plant list includes recommended trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering perennials that do well in this region. Information presented here is compiled from multiple sources and is meant to be a guide. Weather, soil, moisture and other environmental conditions play a major role in the size of plants and bloom time.

Plants identified as “deer resistant” are just that – “resistant”. Deer are known to eat everything and anything if they are hungry. Readers are encouraged to consider using deer repellant products if they have problems. We have found that products such as Milorganite and Liquid Fence may be helpful in keeping browsing deer away. This is by no means an endorsement of any product – and serves only to pass along information that local lake residents have found to be useful in addressing the deer problem.

Information provided about sources of plant material is based on reviews by a randomly selected group of plant providers. Many nurseries and landscapers can special order items; however, big box stores may or may not carry various items in a given year. Most plant materials are available from catalogs or on-line sources; however, residents are encouraged to obtain plant materials locally.

New cultivars/hybrids that improve selected features of plants are developed each year. Therefore, these lists are expected to grow and/or change over time to reflect the latest science in the plant world.

Reviewers: This list was reviewed for appropriateness to location and availability by a number of people. Many of our committee members are Master Gardeners from the Franklin County chapter and Master Naturalists from the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes chapter. The primary credit for compilation of this list goes to De English, a Master Gardener and Master Naturalist, and Bill Pappa, a Master Gardener with a special interest in riparian buffers.

Special thanks go to Alex Niemiera, Associate Professor in Horticulture at Virginia Tech; Lynn Crump, Environmental Programs Planner at DCR; and Alice Baird, DCR Division of National Heritage for reviewing and making helpful suggestions.