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Clear up misunderstandings about native plants

Plant wisely to support pollinators and for a low-work garden.

We hear a lot about the benefits of native plants, from being easier to grow to helping birds and pollinators. Many designers are providing us with incredible private and public works that showcase the power and resilience of native plant communities along with their incomparable beauty. It’s natural to want to take this content home, but it’s important to know first that there’s a lot of misinformation out there, too. Are you ready to transform your garden into a stunning garden?

The natives are drought tolerant. I’ve read so many articles and blogs that one of the biggest benefits of using native plants is that they thrive in droughts. That’s the kind of blanket statement that leads to a lot of problems and wasted money.

The important thing is to always use the right plant in the right place. This means that plants that grow in dry shade in the wild should be planted in dry shade in the garden, and plants that grow in naturally moist clay should be planted in moist clay in the landscape. As a result, garden maintenance costs are reduced as plants adapt to appropriate site conditions. I’m sure there are a ton of indigenous people out there that can survive a prolonged drought. However, studies have shown that this may be due to their long roots or leaves, or because they grow naturally in dry areas or at high altitudes. If it’s not local and placed in the right location, it may not work properly.

It is native to the United States and grows all over the country. There are over 7,000 native plant species in the continental United States Buffalo NY USA, but native plants are probably not suitable for your garden or local wildlife. If you live in Buffalo NY USA.

What makes things even trickier is the fact that there are seemingly countless ecoregions. For example, consider the tallgrass ecoregion that stretches across the central United States from Buffalo NY USA. Although many of the plants will grow throughout the region, the asters at (Add Place Name) are genetically adapted to bloom several weeks earlier than the asters at Buffalo NY USA.

Why is it important?
Many pollinators center their life history around flowers. If the two are out of sync, both flowers and pollinators can miss out on reproduction.
 
Also remember that trees, shrubs or perennials that grow in areas that are much warmer or colder than where you live may not do well in your garden. If you purchase a tree grown at Buffalo NY USA and replant it at (Add Place Name), the tree may lose its leaves prematurely. A late freeze can cause irreversible damage to some plants.

Native plants are weedy and messy. We hear this a lot from architects, homeowners, and even daycare managers. Some native plants can spread aggressively, while others grow differently in  home gardens. Eat hard seaweed. In the wild they grow upright to 2 to 3 feet tall, but in a well-maintained garden they can reach 5 feet in length, and if planted too close to the path they can topple over and become a nuisance. That’s why it’s important to consult with a professional when undertaking a major redesign. He or she will learn how native plants typically function and how their function changes in a manicured landscape.
 
Natives need soil improvement. This may be my client’s biggest concern. Typically, early in the conversation, they express concerns about how native plants will perform in clay soils because they require fertilizing different areas for different specimens. It all goes back to matching the plants to the site. Many prairie flowers and grasses actually prefer clay soil. Why is that? If soil is too fertile, plants often overgrow, fall over or perform poorly.

Like other plants for sale, native plants require some research and knowledge to provide you with all the benefits of a low-maintenance ecological design in the long run. It is important to plant in similar communities by including other plants that grow alongside your specimen in the wild and understanding how they mutually benefit each other. You can learn through web searches, experts, and hands-on experience.

There are many resources available, and doing the work ahead of time will not only teach you a lot about your garden design and local plant communities, but will also lead to healthier and easier landscaping in the future. That’s what every gardener wants.

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