Native Plants of Ireland

When choosing the right plants for your garden the first choice should always be a native plant. Native Irish plants offer so much to gardeners and require far less time or care than other ‘divas’ of the garden. There is a wide selection of native plants to choose from and many have interesting colour and features that brighten up and add colour to your garden throughout the year. These native plants are also easier to maintain as they are suited to our climate, our other native plants and our native insects. This makes our native plants far better placed to grow in our gardens


One thing I always believe is that a healthy plant makes for a great feature plant. No matter what the plant is, if it looks healthy, then it becomes a specimen and big addition to any garden. Our native plants almost always grow better and look happier in gardens than any imported plant

Below is a list of some highly recommended native plants for Irish Gardens:

Guelder Rose:

  • Mature size: 2.5m tall & 3m wide, with a tall arching habit
  • Deciduous shrub – will lose their leaves in winter
  • Foliage – Palmate leaf shape, green in summer turning red & maroon in autumn
  • Moderate to fast growth rate
  • Flower – The ‘snowballs’ are a distinctive feature of this plant
  • The flower appears in May to July
  • Fruits – Red berries appear from September onwards
  • A hardy plant – Able for cold winters & hard frosts


  • Mature size: Anywhere from 8 to 15m
  • Deciduous shrub – they loose their leaves in winter
  • They have a distinctive leaf shape – with serrated margins, a pointed apex & clear venation
  • Spring flowering plant, with it’s very recognisable male ‘catkins’ or ‘lamb’s tails’
  • A hardy native plant – Able for cold winters

Wild Rose:

  • This plant is naturalised in Ireland – Common in Irish hedgerows
  • Mature size: Around 2.5m
  • Deciduous shrub – they loose their leaves in winter
  • Foliage – Pinnate with 5 to 7 leaflets – corrugated or ‘rough’
  • Vigorous growth rate – can grow 2ft each year
  • Flower – Attractive pink flowers appear in early summer & last until autumn
  • Flower is small & cup shaped with 5 to 7 wrinkled petals
  • Fruits – Hips develop on plants after flowering
  • This however can be avoided by deadheading
  • A hardy plant – Able for cold winters & hard frosts