Top 5 Advantages of Incorporating Native Plants in Your Garden
Native plants have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine and to define cultural identity. Today it’s more important than ever that we pay attention to the wisdom of our ancestors and preserve these natural resources that were once abundant and essential for daily life.
In recent years, more people have begun to adapt their landscaping to follow the trends of eco-friendly landscaping. For those that want to do even more, using native plants for your garden will make your yard even better.
Here are the top 5 advantages of incorporating native plants in your garden.
Native Plants Support Pollinators and Other Wildlife
Native plants can provide habitats for various wildlife. For example, by planting native wildflowers and grasses, you can attract a variety of pollinators, from butterflies to bees.
These insects are beneficial for the environment because they help with the pollination process. For example, when bees visit flowers to collect nectar, pollen can be deposited on flowers of other plants. This process is necessary for cross-pollination, which occurs in most types of plant life, including the food we eat.
A study showed that native plant species were used twice as much by pollinating insects than non-native plants.
In addition, some insects are extremely helpful in your garden as they eat other bugs that do damage. Ladybugs and lacewings are great examples of this. They will help you to control other insects while still not harming the native plants.
For those that want to help their garden and environment, there is no better choice than native plants.
Native Plants are Drought Tolerant
Drought is a huge problem for landscapers and gardeners, but it can be eliminated by using native plants. Native plants are adapted to live in the area that you live in. They are used to dealing with drought, high winds, and other harsh weather conditions.
Drought tolerant plants don’t need as much water to stay healthy and beautiful, which saves water and money.
Changing your landscaping from non-native plants to native plants can also lead to better water quality. Non-native plants can increase the amount of groundwater runoff, which decreases the quality of the water feeding into streams and rivers.
A study of homes in Phoenix found that properties with native landscaping used 50% less water than homes with traditional lawns or water-hungry garden plants.
In addition, some of these plants have extremely deep roots that help them to find water. They also keep a lot of water in their leaves, which helps them to survive longer without rainfall. Many native plants also have small leaves, so they lose less water.
Native Plants are More Resilient to Pests and Diseases
Most plants in the world have to deal with some sort of pest or disease. Unfortunately, it’s more difficult for non-native plants to deal with these problems because they are so new to the area.
Native plants have had thousands of years to develop natural resistance to pests and diseases, whereas non-native plants are new, so they have no defense against these problems.
For native species that are attacked by pests or diseases, they can still survive. However, for non-native plants that are attacked by pests or diseases, the effects can be devastating. They either have to find a way to survive with the pest or disease, or they have to be completely replaced.
For example, when an oak tree is attacked by a pest or disease, the oak tree can either produce acorns that will grow into new oaks for the next season, or it can become diseased and die.
Oak trees are native, so they’ve had time to develop the defense needed to survive. Non-native plants do not have these defenses built up, so if they are attacked by a pest or disease, there is no coming back.
Native Plants Look Natural and Beautiful Year-Round
Non-native plants are beautiful to look at, but they don’t always work for your home. Traditional types of lawn grasses are perfect examples. These large, leafy plants need water year-round to keep them alive and green.
Even if you have a sprinkler system that waters your yard automatically, it can still be costly. In addition, they tend to look a little odd throughout the winter months when all of the leaves die off.
Native plants also have beautiful foliage that can last all year long. In fact, some plants only drop their leaves in order to survive cold winters and hot summers.
In addition, native plants usually require less work from gardeners because they are adapted to your climate and soil type. They don’t need as much water or as much fertilizer as non-native plants because they already know how to adapt and survive in those conditions.
Native trees, shrubs and wildflowers look great in any landscape, including xeriscaping.
Native Plants Reduce Erosion
Erosion is the process in which soil is washed away, leaving behind nothing but rocks and dirt.
The lack of soil production makes it difficult for anything to grow, which causes nearby water sources to suffer. When dirt washes away from hillsides, for example, it can cause sediment to fill nearby rivers and streams.
This causes water quality issues that impact aquatic life in the area.
Planting native trees, shrubs and wildflowers can reduce erosion in two ways. First, they prevent soil from being lost to erosion by holding it in place with their roots.
Native plants also create shade that keeps the soil cool and moist, which allows vegetation to grow and hold the soil in place.
In addition, native plants have deeper roots that anchor them to the soil and prevent erosion from occurring.
Native plants are an environmentally friendly option for your landscaping. They help with the environment in many ways, including by supporting wildlife and reducing erosion.
These plants also tend to cost less and require less maintenance because they are already used to the local climate. Therefore, you can enjoy beautiful, environmentally friendly landscaping for a lot less money.