We’ve all heard the reports of drought conditions and water supply shortages throughout the United States. Even areas like the Great Lakes Region, areas that have numerous water sources, are reporting lower water levels. In an effort to preserve potable water resources, many places have placed restrictions on landscape watering. If you’re not a fan of a brown lawn or dried up annuals, native plants are a perfect option for you.
In this article from the Poplar Network, author Claire Maloney explains that native plants “are known to be a more sustainable choice for landscaping because they are indigenous to the area, and therefore should be well-adapted to the local climate conditions.” While experts differ on what defines plants as “native,” they are generally seen as either original to the area or having adapted to the area over a period of time. Because they have adjusted to local conditions, they require little (if any) additional water and fertilizer. They also create natural habitats for indigenous wildlife.
If you’re considering native plantings for your landscape project, there are a number of resources available that can help you decide what’s right for your space. A great place to start is with your neighbors. Chances are if a plant is growing well for them, it will grow well in your soil too. Native plant societies, nature preserves, and botanical gardens are also good resources for information pertaining to native plant life, and their plant sales can be great places to pick up plants for your landscape project.
The internet also hosts a wealth of information in the form of websites, forums, and databases that can help you determine what is native to your area. And as water supplies become more valuable, we’re likely to see an increased focus on water-efficient landscaping, including native plants. But why wait until then? Take the first step toward saving water (and money) with a native landscape today.