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LID Plants

Plants for Low Impact Development

Low Impact Development is a new design mindset that works to preserve native soils, conserve water and protect the health of our local watersheds. Puget Sound Plants supports landscape architects and designers who want to work with LID techniques. We have developed several plant lists that will help you in planning your LID designs. Contact us today to discuss LID and order compatible plants.

Click here to see our LID-compatible Tree List.

Click here to see our Plant List for Rain Gardens and Bio-swales

What is LID?

Low Impact Development is a land planning design approach to managing stormwater runoff. This technique emphasizes conservation of resources and protection of natural watersheds from the harm that can be caused by urban development. LID designs may employ filtering systems, drainage systems and strategic plant use to filter and control storm runoff and prevent erosion while reducing toxins that leach into the watershed.

Low Impact Development can be an integral part of the design process, taking the drainage, topography and microclimate of the area into account. Knowing the health and concerns of your local watershed will help aid in protecting it and conserving resources.

Why is LID Important?

LID is an easy and efficient way to manage the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff. It helps to filter the water coming off of urban landscapes, before it enters storm drains and groundwater.

Low Impact Design helps to protect the Puget Sound and the entire watershed that feeds into it. It protects our local resources and ecosystems, including all the native plants and animals that reside there.

LID aids in water conservation with the use of native and drought-tolerant plants that are well-adapted to take up excess water in the winter and to tolerate our dry summers. This reduces the need for irrigation in the summer and protects areas from flooding in the winter.

Low Impact Design helps to conserve resources and protect our environment.

How can we use it?

The Landscape Industry can help to conserve and preserve our water sources in many different ways. LID techniques run the gamut of the landscaping business, from irrigation to plantings and more.


Irrigation: One key way is to ensure that your irrigation systems are efficient and used at a minimum. Installing proper timers and rain sensors help to reduce wasted water.


Lawns: Installing fewer lawns also helps to comply with Low Impact Development standards, as grass tends to use a lot of resources and can be a large source of fertilizer and pesticide runoff which leads to groundwater contamination.


Drainage: Onsite drainage systems, like rain gardens, bio-swales and green roofs, can greatly reduce water clogging issues and excess stormwater. Click here to learn more.


Native Plants: Use native and drought-tolerant plants in your designs. Native plants are well adapted to wet winters and dry summers so they need less care, year round. They need fewer resources including water, pest management and fertilizer. Pacific Northwest native plants vary widely so they are useful for all types of landscapes and include interesting specimens of trees, perennials, shrubs, evergreens, as well as native prairie plants. Intentional use of plants helps to absorb excess water, filter storm runoff and also requires less additional water during our dry summers.