Native plants are the plants that naturally occur in the area in which you live. They’re terrific for your outdoor spaces. Not only can they be used to add gorgeous colors and textures, but they also benefit the environment and your wallet! Keep reading to learn more about why you should plant natives and what they have to offer.
Why Native Plants?
- You don’t have to fight your environment.
Because these plants are, well, native, your landscape actually wants them to grow. They tend to establish themselves quickly and deeply and, because of that, flourish, unlike many non-natives you might plant.
- Attracting animals, bees, and butterflies.
There are so many native creatures that benefit your outdoor spaces, but the bees, butterflies, and animals are ones that non-native plants can’t necessarily support. When you plant native species, you can help to bring bees, butterflies, birds, and others back into your landscape that can help your landscape thrive.
- They can survive the weather in your area.
Native plants know how to survive weather conditions that may kill non-native plants. There’s no need to worry about covering native plants or keeping them warm through changes in the weather. They’re designed to survive.
- They’re more drought resistant.
Because they are prepared for native weather, they’re able to conserve water properly to last through dry seasons.
- More time on your hands!
Because the plants conserve water with little work on your part and know just how to survive in their natural habitat, they also help you to conserve your time! You can spend more time enjoying your outdoor spaces and less time trying to keep non-native species alive in them.
- They’re good for your wallet.
These plants require far fewer pesticides and fertilizers because they don’t need to be supported to succeed. Non-native plants require quite a bit of pruning and extra work to keep them where you want them. Native plants rarely take over spaces they don’t belong in which saves you precious time.
- Erosion control.
Since these plants are better adapted to the environment, they can often create deeper and healthier root systems. Those strong systems allow you to plant native species in potential erosion spots to help prevent the degradation of soil over time.
Tips for Landscaping with Native Plants
You might not be sure where to start when it comes to using native plants in your landscape, but we’ve got a few ideas to get things moving.
- Create a rain garden.
Rain gardens are a landscaped area that is designed to soak up any excessive rain you might be dealing with. It diverts the rain from your other plants and grass, so it doesn’t drown. These are a great way to landscape with your native plants. Because the root system of native species tends to be stronger, the rain garden will hold and collect the rainwater runoff in your outdoor spaces.
- Add them to your border plants.
Adding native plants to your border plants is a simple way to use native species in your landscaping that doesn’t require too much change. Choose native plants that complement your existing perennials.
- Create a butterfly garden.
Butterfly gardens are an incredible way to bring local plants into your garden design. Who doesn’t love a beautiful, flowering garden? Add in the gorgeous butterflies that will come with it and you have a beautiful, environmentally supportive garden space.
Find The Right Plants for Your Area
There are lots of ways to find the right native plants for your region, and we’ve listed just a few here.
- Going local is always a good idea – check in with your local nurseries, gardening centers, and even landscapers to find the right plants for your area.
- North American Native Plant Society
- Your local 4H, or other agricultural groups, are a great resource that can give you helpful tips for choosing local plant types.
- American Horticultural Society