With spring right around the corner, you may be already thinking about changing plants in and around your home or business landscape.
Why Go Native?
Including native North Carolina plants in your landscape is better for wildlife and for the environment.
Keep these few tips in mind to build a better landscape that is functional, beautiful and beneficial to the surroundings.
1. Native Plants Attract More Birds and Butterflies
Native animals are best adapted to native plants for food and cover, so well-planned landscapes with these plants will help you attract more wildlife to your property.
2. Native Plants are Easier to Maintain
Plants native to an area are well suited to the local soils and climate. They don’t require much upkeep once established in an appropriate site.
3. Native Plants are Non-Invasive
The spread of invasive exotic plants poses a threat to native plants and animals around the world. You can do your part now to slow down these threats in your area.
4. Native Plants Balance Habitat Loss
With current human population growth, we are losing wildlife habitat at an alarming rate. You can help balance this loss by creating new habitat with native plants.
How to Go Native:
This can be done in small steps; you don’t have to replant your entire yard all at once.
You can start small by replacing an exotic tree with a plant species familiar to your location by making a small area of your yard into a native plant garden, or by replacing a section of turf with a bed of native plants.
Step One: Identify Wildlife Needs
All wildlife have basic requirements. If you want to attract a diversity of birds or butterflies to your property, you’ll need to understand their basic needs for food, water, and cover.
Step Two: Map Existing Site and Vegetation
Before you start planting, you need to determine what plants you already have. Are they native or exotic? Should you keep them or replace them?
Step Three: Design a Native Plant Landscape
The design process takes into account the needs of wildlife and your needs as a landowner. Meeting wildlife needs can require specific plant diversity, careful arrangement of plant types, and the addition of feeders, nest boxes, and water features.
Step Four: Implement a Native Plant Landscape
Once you’ve made your plan and selected the native plants you want to use, you’ll need to find and buy plants and make sure they’re planted correctly.
Where to Get Native NC Plants:
There are a number of reputable nurseries that specialize in native plants in the NC area. Below are some helpful links to get you started:
• North Carolina Division of Forest Resources
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