Native Plants

How can native plants increase my yard’s ability to absorb water?

Native plant roots can grow 5-10 feet deep and even up to 15 feet deep in some soils! Their deep roots make spaces in the soil for water to soak into, which lessens stormwater impacts. In comparison, turf grass roots only grow to about 4 inches deep.

 

What other benefits do native plants provide?

Once established, native plants usually require little to no irrigation or fertilization are resistant to most local pests and diseases. Using less water, fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides protects our water quality and saves you money.

 

Many native plants also produce beautiful flowers that attract the butterflies and other native pollinators our fruits, vegetables, and other garden plants need.

 

What are some tips for using native plants in my yard?

 

  • Plan a Landscape Design: Make a sketch of our yard as if you were looking down on it from a tree, adding in the house, any low spots, existing gardens, trees, and bushes and then decide where native plants will fit in. Think about developing a theme for the landscape as well, such as using the same planting pattern or colors throughout your yard.
  • Group Plants: Group plants together with similar light and water requirements. This will save time with maintenance and watering.
  • Edges: A crisp edge or border around the garden gives it a sense of order. You may also try putting the garden towards the edge of your yard, rather than in the middle.
  • Plant Size: Avoid plants that are too tall. Make sure to look at the plant’s expected height and choose accordingly. You can use naturally tall plants to block your view of the neighbor’s house or in the backyard to set a backdrop.
  • Avoid planting these non-native plants: Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese knotweed, autumn olive, glossy buckthorn, purple loosestrife, common reed, reed canary grass, and English ivy and privet. These plants can take over and push out native plants.

 

Where can I buy native plants?

Native plants be purchased at many local nurseries, including the following which have carried these plants in the past:

 

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