What are native plants? A good explanation would be plants such as trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and sedges that were growing in America before the European settlers arrived. A native plant is generally specific to a certain geographic area that it It has been growing in for a long time.
Plants that have been transplanted from other parts of the country or from other countries are generally not considered as native to an area that it did not originate in.The reasonÃ‚ native plants are so popular is that they have evolved overtime to survive and thrive in the specific conditions which are unique to where you live. These plants have adapted to the extreme cold,blistering summers, drought conditions, and whatever the climatic conditions in your area is. Plants which are native to your region have also learned to thriveÃ‚ in the soils and water of your particular area. Having survived they can withstand attacks by pests and disease as they have built up resistance to them.
This is very important because the native plants require less fertilizer, less water, and less maintenance once they have become established. This is the critical point here once they become established. A lot of people think that if the buy a native plant that all that needs to be done is to dig a hole,Ã‚ plop it in the ground,Ã‚ and you are done. This is totally a misconception on their part. The fact is that as with any other plant you must nurture and take care of it till it becomes established. The difference being that once established the root system will be stronger and the plant will require much less maintenance and fertilizer to perform at it,s peak.
One of the reasons to use native plants it that you will attract local wildlife to you garden, by providing food and shelter. Berries from shrubs and bushes will provide food for not only native but migratory birds as well. The insects that will in habit the garden will be quickly dispatched by toads, frogs, and the birds that survive on them. Perennial flowers will be an open invitation for butterflies to visit your garden and host plants will provide a place for them to lay their eggs and for the next generation to be born. As more and more natural areas are being destroyed by development these native plants will help to keep the local wild life from disappearing.
If you are interested in using native plants in your garden you can get information from your local cooperative extension office at your States Land Grant University. You will find information on the natives as well as helpful advice andÃ‚ answers to your questions.