Gardening with native plants only makes good sense. Just what is a native plant? A native is a plant that originated in our area and was not introduced from Europe or another far away location. These plants generally display better hardiness, disease and insect resistance and tolerate local weather extremes. Native plants conserve soil and water because they don’t require fertilizers and pesticides. Native plants have deep roots which absorb excess rainfall and prevent water from running directly into our rivers and streams helping to provide clean water for everyone. Native plants instead of turf lawns help reduce our carbon footprint.
Although not as flashy as newer varieties, native plants are needed as host and nectar plants for butterflies, bees and birds. As they forage for their own sustenance bees pollinate one out of every three bites of food we consume. Think apples, almonds, blueberries, cherries, avacados, peaches, strawberries, cucumbers, onions and many more of the fruits and veggies that we enjoy. Native plants provide habitat, shelter and food for bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife. For more information on these important pollinators go to The Million Pollinator Project.
For more information about natives visit Grow Native!, The Grow Native! program helps protect and restore our state’s biodiversity by increasing conservation awareness of native plants and their effective use.