Creating a Native Plant Garden

What are native plants, and why should you plant them? Natives are plants and trees that exist naturally in an area, or have become naturalized, without the intervention of humans. For example, most plants brought to a new area to serve as food or ornamentals are not native, so even very familiar friends like avocados and mangos are not native to Florida.

However not all non-natives are bad. We depend on many for our very survival. Some, however, are so adaptable that they excel and overtake many native plants that animals have come to depend on for their own survival. These may be considered invasive plants, and are to be avoided. Some are even illegal to plant.

By planting natives, you will support and attract our essential insects, birds and countless other animals that lay their eggs on, or consume, only native plants. There is still another benefit to native plants: they are designed by nature to grow here, so once they are established, they require little or no irrigation or fertilizer. Nature will take care of your yardwork!

There are many nurseries offering native Florida plants. Learn as much about them before you buy to make sure you are getting what you need. Fairchild’s many plant sales also offer many spectacular—and often quite hard to find—native plants for your landscape. For information about recommended plants, click here.