What are Native Plants?
Each region of each country has a unique ecological system comprised of specific plant life that have thrived in that region for centuries. The plants that are native to North America are far different from those found in the Amazon. Many native plant species in the Northern Hemisphere are unable to survive in tropical climates and vice versa. Native plants in their proper habitat provide harmony to the delicate balance of life between animals, plants and people. As these plants are removed and replaced by non-native plants, the ecosystem is disrupted.
Benefits to Native Plants
A number of benefits exist to using native plants in your garden and landscape. Native plants require far less maintenance. You will not have to use as much fertilizer or pesticides because these species have natural tolerances to local pests. These plants also help to provide essential nutrients to their native soil and are beneficial to local water supplies and air quality. The more native plants you have around your house and in your lawn the less you have to water the lawn or mow the grass which saves precious fresh water supplies and reduces carbon emissions from lawnmowers.
Caring for Native Plants
The best way to care for native plants is to avoid using non-native plants in your landscape and garden. By doing so, your plants will be able to thrive without having to fight for nutrients to survive. Even though native plants require less care, you will likely still be required to provide them with water during dry times and, in some instances, to trim them back so they keep growing. Try to use reclaimed rainwater for watering and organic fertilizer such as compost to keep your plants and your neighborhood as healthy as possible.
Join the native plant movement and reap the rewards. You will save money on plants, care and maintenance. And, native plants are significantly better for the health of other native plant life, birds, animals and humans.