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Choosing native plants helps our developed areas maintain the coevolutionary relationship that birds, animals, insects and other plants have with each other within an ecosystem. Native plants attract and provide habitat for local wildlife at a higher rate than non-natives. Frequently, native plants are the only options for native wildlife when it comes to being a food source. When a non-native plant is selected for a design, it may look nice and attract some wildlife, but as a whole it will be much less functional in a landscape than a similar, native plant would be.

Another reason to choose native plants is their low to very-low water needs, and ability to survive drought and heat conditions. Native plants that are local to the region in which they are planted are adapted to their surrounding climate, so when situated correctly they will require much less maintenance and supplemented resources than a non-native.

Lastly, when a non-native plant is used that has the ability to spread outside of where it has been planted, it is considered invasive and is detrimental to the ecosystem. This is because the much less ecologically functional non-native may outcompete the native plant for water, light, or nutrient resources, which leads to fewer native plants being able to grow, and an overall depreciation of the ecosystem. So when you can, please choose natives!


When you have some time, please watch this video by Growing a Greener World for a thorough presentation on why it is important to choose natives. When it comes to understanding the vital relationships between native plants and the wildlife that depends on them, Doug Tallamy is the acclaimed expert. This video explores ways to incorporate nature into your landscape and help you understand why that’s so important.

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