A ruby throated hummingbird sips nectar from a bright orange Butterfly Weed plant, or Asclepias tuberosa.A ruby throated hummingbird sips nectar from a bright orange Butterfly Weed plant, or Asclepias tuberosa.

5 Reasons Why Every Garden Needs Native Plants

What's the buzz about native plants? These resilient plants have withstood the test of time! Native plants and native hybrids are adaptable, low-maintenance, and durable, so they are more resilient in the face of extreme temperatures, rainfall, and weather compared to many non-native ornamental plants. Furthermore, native plants have established relationships with pollinators and wildlife, making them the best choice for habitat-friendly gardens that support a healthy web of life. Learn more about how these plants benefit all life on Earth.

 

1. Healthy Ecosystems: Native plants strengthen entire ecosystems! Think of a healthy ecosystem as a healthy web of life. Native plants host an enormous variety of beneficial insects that feed beneficial insects, caterpillars, birds, and wildlife. Don't be afraid of bugs in your garden - they're essential for healthy ecosystems. For instance, it can take thousands upon thousands of caterpillars to feed one family of songbirds!

2. Healthy Pollinators: Native plants are essential for the survival of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Since wildlife and native plants have evolved together for so long, many pollinators require specific host plants to survive - the most famous example being Monarch Butterflies and Milkweed plants. One of the most enjoyable parts of gardening is watching these winged visitors flying in our garden. Pollinators are also essential for the production of the fruits and vegetables we all need to be healthy. 

3. Healthy Soils: Native plants and beneficial insects help to keep soils balanced and healthy. In turn, this keeps pests, plant diseases, and harmful invasive species at bay. Healthy soils also help contribute to clean water and clean air.

4. Healthy Plants: Native plants are well-adapted to local weather patterns, climate, soil conditions, and daylight. This means that they’re more resilient and more likely to survive extreme weather events. Typically, native perennial plants have very deep root systems, which make for a tough, resilient plant. (They're also easier to care for if you're a busy gardener!)

5. Healthy Gardens: With built-in defenses against common pests and diseases that they've developed over time, native plants are the least likely to require pesticides, fungicides, and chemicals. That means you can avoid using substances that are harmful to people, animals, and the environment.

A Bumblebee visits a purple Lupine flower.A Bumblebee visits a purple Lupine flower.
A Bumblebee visits a purple Lupine flower.

Plant Native Wildflower Seeds

By growing seeds native to your region, your garden or meadow can help restore ecosystems and sustain biodiversity. Shop for wildflower varieties and mixes that feature species native to your region.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Bee Balm (Monarda)Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Bee Balm (Monarda)
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Bee Balm (Monarda)

Plant Native Perennials

Native plants and native hybrids are adaptable and low-maintenance, and they are more likely to survive swings in temperature, rainfall. We recommend using at least 70% native plants and native hybrids when designing your garden.

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