The Benefit of Native Plants
They’re More Than Just Easy to Grow.
There are many advantages to using native plants in your landscape. Native plants are adapted to our local climate. They co-evolved with pests and diseases, so native plants have a natural resistance to them. During the first year or two you will need to water native plants, but once established they require minimal watering. They are adapted to local soils and may not require fertilizer. By picking the right native plant for your site you can save yourself work in the future.
Some of the things to consider when including natives in your yard:
Are you going for “manicured” or a natural “wild” look? Native plants can fit both of these types of gardens. Most local plants can tolerate pruning and would make a lovely shrub. There are many possibilities!
Consider the size of plant when it reaches maturity. Plant the right plant for the space.
Group plants by needs; water, soil or sun.
What is Habitat Gardening?
Many homeowners practice “habitat gardening” by creating wildlife viewing with their plant choices. Probably one of the most satisfying things about using native plants in your landscape is the wildlife it attracts. Birds, butterflies, insects and small mammals rely on native plants for food, nesting and shelter. Most habitat gardening is usually less manicured and has a more natural look than the traditional yard. Here are some examples of native plants and the animals that utilize them:
- Western Red Cedar (tree) – seeds are a food source for Nuthatches, Sparrows, & Waxwings, it is a host plant for Cedar Hairstreak butterfly larvae.
- Kinnikinnick (groundcover) – flower nectar source for hummingbirds & bees, fruit is used by songbirds & ground-feeding birds.
- Native Fescue spp. (grass) – seed source for Sparrows & Towhees, host plant for butterfly larvae.
- Oceanspray (shrub) – flowers nectar is a food source for bees & butterflies, seeds are eaten by songbirds, it is a host plant for several native butterfly larvae.
- Vine Maple (small tree) – host plant for Western Tiger Swallowtail & Mourning Cloak butterfly larvae, seeds are food source for Grosbeak, Finches, & Woodpeckers.