Why use native plants?
Photo/Illustration: Saxon Holt
Generally speaking, the term “native plants” refers to plants that are original to an area, but “native” can actually be interpreted in many ways. To me, it includes plants of the Great Plains because this is where I live, but the definition is really a matter of perspective.
“Native” can encompass all types of plants from trees and shrubs to wildflowers and grasses. It can be interpreted to be as narrow as plants that are only original to an immediate area or as broad as what is native to a state, country, or continent.
Anyway you spin the word, native plants provide powerful benefits to you and your environment.
They create a home for wildlife
All types of creatures will flock to native plants for food and shelter. Wildlife is a sign of a healthy garden, and native plants can provide a much-needed natural habitat for local animals.
They save you time and money
Native plants are well suited to the conditions of their original habitat, thus they remain healthy with little maintenance, while other plants need pampering.
They reduce the need for water and chemicals
Because natives require less special treatment, you can spare the added fertilizers and pesticides, while also cutting back on expensive and potentially wasteful watering practices.