In this blog, we are going to talk about the benefits of native plants. Do you also spend countless hours maintaining and watering your landscape plants? If yes, then we will suggest you use native plants on behalf of non-natives. With this, you can say hello to your greener wallet and planet.
The journey of native plants might sound more interesting to you when you will get to know about such species’ benefits in detail. However, if someone is a beginner, then this transition might overwhelm you a little bit. Don’t worry keep reading this blog to make planting native plants easier.
Table of Contents
Why are native plants important?
1) No need for fertilizer
Native plants are well adapted to the soil present in their ecosystem. It doesn’t matter if you have fertile soil or poor soil, your native plants can survive through available soil nutrients without any need for fertilizer. With this, your time and cash will be saved, and also it is perfect for our environment.
2) Role in preserving biodiversity
Whenever there are native plants, there are chances that natural connections shared between organisms will get preserved. You might already know that organisms in an ecosystem survive because they depend on each other. In this case, native plants will play a role in providing shelter and food to wildlife and insects.
3) Control erosion
Erosion can easily change the shape of your planting beds and yard slope and in the worst case, will redirect water flow. In the troublesome area, try to plant native plants for preventing erosion. Credit goes to the native plant’s root system, which stabilizes the soil.
4) Save your water
Such plants require less water in comparison to non-native plants. Native plants never depend on irrigation because they are well adapted to the amount of rain that a particular area receives. Once again, credit goes to their deep root system, which can store water for a long time.
5) Enhance natural habitat
When you plant native plants in your landscape, then you are restoring all the local wildlife’s natural habitat. All kinds of animals mainly rely on native plants for shelter, nectar, food, nuts, etc.
How to plant native plants?
It would be easy for you to grow native plants if you understand and follow the below-mentioned steps correctly. With this, you can even ensure that your existing landscape turn into a native one in a self-sustainable way.
1) Select your plants
The main thing to ask yourself before buying any native plant is that “Are these plants from your region?” If yes, then buy them because these kinds of plants are local to your region and have no difficulty adapting to soil conditions and weather.
With this, a native ecosystem will be created, which will aid in providing habitat to wildlife like butterflies, bees, etc. Try to refer to a native plant database which will make it easier to look for the right plants, chiefly based on the preferred type, specific ecoregion, and your climate.
2) Plant plugs and seeds
If you want to start from scratch, then there are two ways to start:
- The first one is plug plants which are considered good candidates. Usually, they come up along a root ball full of nutritious soil and sturdy packaging. When you plant them, just wait for a few months, and boom most of your native plants will start thriving.
- Secondly, seeds whose availability might be easier and cheaper, but don’t forget that seed propagation will consume a lot of time. The chief factors that will matter in the germination rate are external circumstances and seed quality.
3) Prepare the site
There is not any kind of special requirement for preparing your native plant’s soil bed. As a result, it is less hectic for you, but still, there is a need to ensure better success. You can achieve this by removing invasive species, weeds, and clumps present in your yard. Also, try to improve your soil quality by providing them with a proper amount of organic matter to make them nutritious.
4) Time to plant
Native plants are generally climate-adapted to a specific region which means if you introduce them during harsh weather, then it will harm your plants. Such young plants need time to get used to new environments. That’s why it is not a great idea to expose them to windy or cold conditions and extreme heat.
Therefore, we will prefer you to start with native plants in early spring or fall. Also, ensure that your babies get nourished with a balance of moisture and sun.
5) Look for the right spots
There are chances that you might not be familiar with distinctive microclimatic zones present in your yard. Some portions might be fully shady or partially shady. On the other hand, there can be warm spots receiving sun for more than 6 hours a day. It can vary according to their surrounding structures and spot placement.
It is vital to look for the right area of ground to make your native plants healthier. If you’re still confused, then check the labels of your seed or plant packages to find the ideal spot in your garden.
6) Grow in layers
If it is possible, then try to make distinct plant layers of approx three. In the background, keep taller ones, and in the front keep ground covers. In the middle part, try shrubs and flowering plants. Such plants will coexist in your garden as they live in nature with time. After that, they will turn into living mulch which can push out all the weeds.
7) Start watering them
If you want to make a moisture balance in your plants, then it is better to go through the below-mentioned points:
- Instead of using a container to pour water on plants, try to spray water around your native roots and their leaf surface.
- Until your plants get 3-6 months old, don’t forget to water them once a day. Also, ensure that whatever excess water is left must get drained well.
- If the hottest months are going on in your country, then save your native plants from drying out with scheduled sprinklers.
- If rain or mist is going on due to which your soil received too much moisture, then just wait and watch when they get dry again.
In the world of modernization, everyone wants to go behind everything which is considered as exotic. Such kind of behavior is not distinctive in terms of plants. But there is no way that you can ignore the benefits we get from native plants. So, switch to native plants, and this will change your way to look at the landscape.