Incorporating native plants within your landscape design offers a multitude of benefits as well as providing a positive impact upon the environment.
Native plants have all adapted over time to withstand the various microclimates and environmental conditions within their zones of hardiness. They are normally tough, durable plants, which are more resilient to pests and disease and provide a conducive habitat for various forms of wildlife.
Both natives and “nativars” are excellent candidates for integrating into a sustainable landscape design. They usually require less overall maintenance and less water once they are established. Natives can also provide many years of year-round interest with attractive flowers, fruit, fall color and winter silhouette.
However, just because a plant is native does not mean it will acclimate itself into any given environment. Certain natives can be difficult to transplant or they may require a specific soil pH, in order to perform successfully. The cultural requirements of individual plants should still provide key factors when choosing the plants for any sustainable landscape.
Even though Hydrangea Annabelle is a “nativar”, it still prefers a moist soil and partial shade. It is quite adaptive to most soils, however, if planted in full sun, it will greatly appreciate supplemental watering during dry conditions. Our strain of Red Bud is considered to be one of the most cold-hardy forms, yet it still prefers a protected location during the winter months and is more prone to canker and verticilium wilt under stressful conditions.
Also consider your plant preferences. Many people welcome the advantage of using native plants, but may have a list of other ornamentals they wish to incorporate. That’s fine, those choices can be incorporated where appropriate in the landscape design plan.