This is my personal collection of findings and discoveries in native plant gardening. I have added several invasive plants that should never be included in your garden/yard, and I plan to add a few things about non-native, non-invasive plants (a popular request is what you can plant that won’t invade/destroy your surrounding ecosystem).
Benefits of native plants include:
- Native plants provide much needed food and shelter for native wildlife. Since local animals and insect-life have co-evolved with native plants to feed and support each other. Invasive or introduced species provide little benefit to wildlife and can starve entire populations when used en masse.
- Reduction of pests and ticks. Some species of popular non-native/invasive plants (such as Japanese Barberry, Berberis thunbergii), provides optimal protection for large communities of white-footed mice (a known tick vector).
- Native plants require less water and zero fertilizers than standard, invasive-grass lawns
- Native plants reduce erosion. Many native plants have much deeper root systems than invasive/non-native plants which help to increase water storage for the soil, reduce water runoff and flooding.
- Reduction of air pollution as they don’t require mowing (mowing contributes to global warming/carbon emissions)
- It’s rewarding to plant and manage natives knowing that you’re restoring natural habitat, and helping local birds, insects, and animals.
- Native plants are both versatile and beautiful