Why Add Native Plants to Your Garden?

Native plants bolster biodiversity, which is fundamental to the web of life.

Native plants have co-evolved for centuries alongside a region’s wildlife. They are host to a broad range of insects, birds, and animals, providing food and shelter for creatures great and small.

Native plants ensure the genetic diversity of the plant population. The seeds, fruits, and berries from these plants feed an array of living creatures, which, in turn, disperse these reproductive parts of plants, promoting their spread.

Native plants exhibit greater resilience to weather extremes than most non-native plants. They are better equipped to handle swings in temperature and rainfall amounts.

Native plants are well-adapted to a region’s soil, whatever the local compositions of clay, silt, and sand might be in particular areas.

Native plants and native hybrids are vigorous and low-maintenance.

Native plants seldom require the use of pesticides or other chemicals. They are naturally equipped to fend off pests and diseases. If you see holes in leaves, that’s generally a good thing. Insects are enjoying a delicious dinner.

Many natives are beautiful, garden-worthy plants. They can be used in exclusively “all native” gardens or planted amid non-native plants in ornamental borders and beds.

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'

Some insects are “specialists,” picky eaters that can only consume a single plant. If that plant vanishes from the neighborhood, these insects don’t adapt. They perish.

Native plants set the stage for renewal and hope in any garden. Plant a variety and your yard will come alive with the sights and sounds of bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and songbirds. The night garden will be filled with the magical sparks of fireflies, and you’ll fall asleep to the sounds of crickets and katydids.

If you wish to read more on the topic of native plants, we cannot recommend highly enough two outstanding books by entomologist and bestselling author Douglas W. Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope.