Native plants are important for many reasons, and some of reasons are more obvious than others. Not only will native plants look natural in your landscape and gardens, but they also serve many practical functions for native wildlife, and they can help you save money as well. So why exactly is it so important to use native plants in your landscape? And how can native species improve your garden and life?
Let’s take a look.
Native Plants Don’t Pose a Risk to the Environment
Though a lot of cultivated flowers and plants are safe to use in many environments, there are always the few species that can become invasive. Invasive plant species can destroy the local plant ecology, and put native plants at risk. The wonderful thing about native flowers, shrubs, and trees is that they will never become invasive, and will never pose a great risk to other native species.
Native Plants Feed Native Wildlife
Native plants help feed the native species of birds, and bugs such as bees and butterflies. So native species not only produce amazing flowers to look at, but they attract a range of native birds and butterflies to your home. Perhaps the most important factor of native species is that they feed pollinator species of insects. Many of the pollinators, especially bees have been declining, however native species help these pollinators re-establish, and maintain their populations.
Native Plants are Low-Maintenance
For the homeowner, the greatest benefit is just how easy it is to maintain native plant species. Because native plant species will be adapted to your environment, they need almost no care once they are established, and will save you a lot on your water bill as they will rarely, if ever require water. Year after year they will return, and you won’t have to do anything to make it happen.
Additionally, these native species will not require any fertilizers, and they will typically not require insecticides due to the fact that they are not prone to infection from native insect populations, funguses or molds. This may surprise you, but the average lawn has 10x more chemical pesticides than farmland. Native plant species, as well as using organic pesticides when needed can create a safer environment for you, your family, and your pets.
Native Species Save you Money
That’s right native species save you money yoo! Think about it, they require less water, pesticides, and fertilizer, all of which costs money. Beyond that, they are typically cheaper to purchase, and can often be found for free if you know where to look. Once native species are established you are less likely to lose them to disease, and they will come back year after year!
Finding Flowering Native Plant Species
Finding native plant species can be fun, it can also help you learn a lot about the native landscape in which you reside. One way to find some of the best natives for gardening is to learn about the flowering plant species and see which are native to your area. Many nurseries will have specially selected native plants as well. However, they may not always be labeled as native, that’s why doing your own research can be helpful in finding plant species in your area. Try this great tool if you are having difficulty finding native plants near you.
Why Use Native Plants?
Native plants are important to use for a range of reasons. By supporting native bug and bird species, they preserve the local ecology, and because they are adapted to your area, they require little to no maintenance. This means using less fertilizers, herbicides, and water, making native plants both good for the environment, and your wallet! Whether you are in Orlando or Austin, there are native species that you can find near you.