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About Native Plants

What are native plants?

Native plants are plants that occurred in the region before settlement by Europeans. Therefore they are adapted to thrive in the climate and conditions of the area. Non-native plants are plants introduced from other countries or regions.

Why should I plant native plants?

Native plants were living here long before we arrived with our fertilizers and garden tools.  If properly sited, native plants require very little care, saving you time and money and giving you more time to enjoy your garden.  Many provide four seasons of beauty and enjoyment. Native plants provide important food sources for our native pollinators, insects, birds and mammals. 

Will native plants grow in my garden?

There are native plants adapted to thrive in every type of soil condition and sun exposure. When well placed, native plants do not require watering (once established), fertilizer or pesticides. Many of the plants you already grow in your garden are native, even though you may not have known them as such.

What are invasive plants?

Invasive plants are non-native or introduced plants which can push some of our native species to the brink of extinction.  Since it is an unknown when and whether a foreign plant will become invasive, it is probably wiser to use native species which belong here.   Our native wildlife depends on these plants as food sources and for their habitat needs.

What difference does it make if I plant a native or non-native?

Because non-native plants could become invasive and take over habitats of our native species, and can spread by seed to other areas, you may want to consider incorporating native plants in to your landscape as you add new plants.  They are beautiful, fun and care-free!  Many native bees and pollinators depend on the availability of native plants which produce pollen and nectar they need. With the decline of the honey bee population we will be depending more and more on these native pollinators.  Read Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy.

What are some examples of native plants that I may already have in my garden?

           Rudbeckia  (black-eyed susan)                     Echinacea (coneflower)

           Solidago   (goldenrod)                                  Phlox paniculata (garden phlox)

           Amsonia  (blue star)                                    Tiarella cordifolia (foamflower)