August 3, 2014
Every day, homeowners across the U.S. find themselves mowing their lawns, adding fertilizers, and spending hours of their precious time maintaining their yards. Unfortunately, maintaining the perfect lawn is not only a time-consuming and expensive chore, but it hurts wildlife and native plant species as well.
The use of native plants in place of traditional landscaping, however, provides homeowners, communities, and wildlife with an array of benefits. Let’s take a look at five of these benefits, allowing you to understand just how beneficial going native in your yard can be.
1. Native Plants are Low Maintenance
Unlike lawns, perfectly maintained flower beds, and manicured shrubs, native plants are incredibly low maintenance. Not only do they not need watering, but they also don’t require insecticides, chemical fertilizers, or fungicides, because native plants have adapted over time to the area’s bugs and weather conditions.
Since leaves from native plant species act as terrific natural fertilizers and keep weeds from growing, there’s also no need for raking or pulling weeds. Ultimately, the use of native plants allows you to spend your free time with your friends and family, rather than toiling away in your yard.
2. Native Plants Help Wildlife Thrive
Wildlife habitats are disappearing left and right as more and more development takes place. Native plants provide wildlife with a natural habitat for them to flourish. In fact, by carefully planting the right combination of native plants in your yard and around your home, you can help the area’s wildlife in a number of ways and provide them with the following:
• Protective cover
3. Native Plants Block the Spread of Invasive and Harmful Plant Species
By landscaping your yard with nothing but native plants, you can help keep invasive, foreign plants from being introduced to your home’s outdoor environment. Many invasive plant species currently found throughout the south were actually introduced by homeowners and landscapers years ago, and the continued introduction of these non-native species detriments the local environment and wildlife.
4. Native Plants Help Conserve Water
Did you know that nearly 50 percent of all water consumed throughout the U.S. is used simply to keep lawns healthy and green? According to U.S. News and World Reports, it takes 20,000 gallons of water to keep a 2,000 square foot lawn green throughout the summer.
Out west, entire rivers are drained and the water table keeps getting lower and lower, largely as a result of these wasteful watering practices. Native plants, on the other hand, do not require watering and play an important role in water conservation.
5. Native Plants Save You Money
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average homeowner spends $700 a year maintaining their lawn, and this doesn’t even include the cost of flower beds, shrubs, and expensive irrigation lines. With native plants, there’s no need to spend your hard-earned money on any of these costly expenditures, saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
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