Natives are plants that are naturally occurring in a geographically area. Many commonly used plants are used in our area but are not in fact native, for example, Hostas. Many non-natives can provide some of the same benefits that natives can, but most natives have additional benefits that set them apart. Read on to learn more about what landscape contractors in Maryland recommend with respect to these native plants.
Local Landscape Contractors Discuss Native Plants
Because natives have naturally evolved to grow in our area they are used to out “Crazy Maryland Weather” and are therefore prepared for the potential of a late or early frost. This readiness for the swings in temperatures make natives lower maintenance than other ornamental plants.
In the United States, we use 100 million tons of fertilizer per year according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Once established native plants don’t need to be fertilized because they have evolved in conjunction with our local ecosystem. Reducing fertilizer use can diminish the annual maintenance costs for a homeowner and lessens the hours spent maintaining a landscape so that you have more time to enjoy it.
Native plants are less susceptible to pests and disease as they are naturally occurring in our geographical area. Being more resistant to pests and disease limits the need for harmful insecticides and pesticides and can help reduce the 80 million pounds of pesticides that we use per year in the United States. Pesticides and fertilizers are one of the leading sources of pollution within the Chesapeake Bay and the surrounding waterways.
Many people believe that using native plants only produce a “messy” garden look, however, many native plants are short and tidy and can be used to create many types of garden design. Some native plants like Golden Rod (Solidago rugosa) can be tall and sometimes can fall over after a heavy rain but by using smart garden design practices you can place these plants behind other perennials that will help hold them up.
Finally, birds, butterflies and pollinators in our area have co-evolved with native plants and have therefore developed a mutually beneficial food web. The flowers and berries of native plants produce more nectars and sugars than ornamental plants and are therefore more valuable to wildlife. For example, butterflies might land on your Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii), but Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium dubium) would be more appreciated.
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If you are looking to learn more about the wildlife in your yard, then contact F&M Contractors today!