Helping Out Nature with Native Plants

Helping Out Nature – Keeping our Environment Intact

 Native Plants – what exactly are they?  Posted July 31, 2016

If you’re like me, you’ve heard of native plants — plants that are “native” to your local area.  Frankly, I haven’t given much thought to native plants, and I’m embarrassed, because as an avid gardener and nature lover, I should have…and here’s why you should, too!

While there are plenty of unusual non-native plants that may be tempting to add to your garden because of their beauty or low maintenance, these plants can cause damage to the environment.  Non-native plants to your specific area can instigate a hostile takeover.  They can eventually take over trees and other plants and literally “force them out” so they can run amuck.  Even if you keep them in a container, birds can take their seed and scatter them to gardens, fields or woods where they can literally run rampant.  Wildlife tend to ignore native plants – they want to eat “local”!  So keeping your plants “native” is another way to encourage and propagate wildlife.

And while the Dept. of Agriculture may be cracking down on the sale and labeling of non-native plants, we still need to be on guard.   With fall planting still around the corner, be sure you are sticking with native plants – if you aren’t sure, check it out online or ask a professional.

No matter where in the country you live, here’s another bonus when you plant native plants:  they adapt to your local soils and climate and usually require less fertilizer, water, and pesticides that help reduce chemicals into our environment.  They are also resilient, beautiful and will attract pollinators to help keep our ecosystem in balance.  Go online to discover what your native plants are for your own particular area – perhaps you are even fortunate enough to have local gardens that give seminars or tours that include information on native plants.