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​Growing Native Plants

​Growing Native Plants

Jan 26, 2022

Every homeowner wants their yard to have curb appeal to stand out as one of the neighborhood's best homes and best-landscaped yards. While a perfectly landscaped yard is a dream for most of us, it can become a reality with only a little work.

One of the best ways to create a garden that you are truly proud to show off to the world is using native plants. Native plants do not have to be boring, and they can bring new and natural colors to any yard without replanting year after year.

What Are Native Plants?

Native plants are traditionally found in your area without having to purchase them from different regions. They are well suited to the temperature and soil conditions where you live. Native plants are typically perennials and will continue to grow year after year. When native plants are planted in their home zone, they will tend to grow independently without needing too much attention from the homeowner.

For instance, when native plants are grown in the right area, they will naturally get the water and sunlight they need. This allows homeowners to let them grow naturally without interfering. While many people may find native plants too ordinary, they are becoming less and less common. Growing native plants in your yard will save you time and money and give you a unique look.

Each location around the country is grouped into a different zone—the zone number changes as the ecosystem changes. When two people live in the same zone number, it typically means they live in a similar environment with similar temperatures, rainfall, soil conditions, sunlight, insects, and more.

Why Grow Natives?

Every homeowner should try to grow a few native plants in their yard. They are advantageous to the ecosystem and are more accessible for homeowners to take care of. If you choose to grow native plants, you will need to spend far less caring for them. They are naturally suited for soil conditions, temperature, and sunlight. Since they have adapted to the climate, you likely do not need to add extra fertilizer to the soil or spend large amounts watering them. They are much easier to take care of and an excellent option for inexperienced gardeners.

In addition, natives are also beautiful and can make your gardens stand out. Many people do not plant natives and instead, look for dramatic colors and styles of plants. This is not ideal. Native plants provide subtle beauty and significant variations of color when grown properly. Try researching native plants in your zone area and creating a plan for which colors you want to have in your yard.

Another great benefit of using native plants in your garden is providing food and shelter for wildlife in your area. Often, insects do not have enough food or places to build a home. Native plants can help promote nature's health in your area and increase biodiversity. Since native plants require almost no pesticides to grow to their full potential, they are much healthier for people, wildlife, and the ecosystem in general.

Types of Natives

There are many native plants that you can choose from. To determine which plants are native to your location, you need to determine which zone you live in. You can find this from a simple search or by asking a local gardening company. Once you know the zone you live in, you can begin searching for the perfect native plants. The names and words of each plant may vary slightly. Here are some of the most common native plants.

Native Trees

The types of trees that will grow best and mature fully in your area depend on what zone they are native to. Some of the most common trees that people look to plant include pine, sassafras, sourwood, oak, maple, dogwood, sycamore, and more. Each type of tree has unique benefits that will make your yard look great and benefit the environment.

Native trees can help produce oxygen and make the air cleaner and healthier to breathe. If you have ample yard space, you may highly want to consider planting a new tree. Trees are a great way to add shade to any yard while creating a unique focal point. 

Red Maple Tree

Native Ferns

Ferns are found in almost every zone around the country. They make a great addition to any lawn or garden because they are unique plants that can help add texture and dimension to any space. Whether you have a small or large yard, ferns can undoubtedly help make your area stand out and look great.

- Native Moss

Many people think that moss is only found in wet areas, but this is not the case. Moss can grow in every zone around the country. It makes a great addition to any garden because of its unique properties. Moss provides a warm base for other plants to grow and can provide shelter to various types of wildlife. Increasing shelter areas in your garden may help you see more wildlife in your garden, which in turn, can help promote a more beautiful garden.

Moss is one of the few plants that look just as beautiful at night as it does in the day. Moss tends to sparkle in the night, and when placed near a garden lamp, it will stand out. Moss will attract lightning bugs at night, which will help naturally light up your whole garden.

Christmas Fern

Native Perennials

Perennials are one of the most sought-after types of plants for any homeowner. Perennials are an ideal plant that you can add to any garden because they will return year after year without planting them each time. Native perennials will naturally grow in the spring and lay dormant in the colder months. They provide the perfect pop of color to any garden. They come in different colors, textures, and sizes to help you create the garden of your dreams.

While each zone has different perennials native to the area, here are some of the most popular perennials you may want to look at. Some of the most colorful perennials include Virginia bluebells, great white trillium, Indian pink, red trillium, lilies, wild geranium, red cardinal flower, hepatica, and more.

Other beautiful, neutral perennials include Jack in the pulpit, foam flower, bloodroot, wild ginger, goldenseal, Dutchman's breeches, black cohosh, and more. Choosing perennials that are unique and native to your zone will help ensure that they thrive and grow back in full bloom each year.

Bloodroot Plant in Bloom

Native Ground Covers

Ground covers are an ideal way to add some texture and design to the ground of your garden. They tend to proliferate and take over an ample space in only a few years. These ground covers will remain at the ground level and help hold soil in its place. They can help prevent erosion and are an ideal way to help conserve water in your garden. They slow down the evaporation process and help keep your plants hydrated.

In addition, they also give off a unique scent so that many animals will not enter it to eat your other flowers. They can grow in any garden area, no matter how much sun or shade there is. No one likes pulling weeds, and ground covers are an excellent way to minimize your time doing this chore. Native ground covers are a natural weed repellant because they prevent sunlight from penetrating the soil, inhibiting weed growth.

Evergreen Wild Ginger Plant

Caring For Native Plants

Native plants are an ideal addition to any garden. They have enormous benefits for wildlife and their native ecosystem. In addition, native plants are also much easier to take care of than imported plants. They typically require less water and fertilizer because they are naturally suited to thrive in their native zones.

While native plants will naturally grow on their own in the wild, you must read the needs of each plant specifically before planting them. Some plants may do best in the sun, while others thrive in the shade. Arranging plants at different heights and garden areas will help you achieve a space that you can indeed be proud of.

Every homeowner should highly consider adding native plants to their yard or garden. From trees to perennials to ground covers and more, there is something for every homeowner to consider planting. Some plants have unique colors, while others are more neutral and allow you to look fuller and well taken care of simply. Each type of native plant brings a one-of-a-kind look to your garden and enables you to respect better the environment you live in.