The Importance of Native Plants
by Lizzie Perez on Jun 21, 2021
The recent quarantine and coming summer have driven many of us to finish our household projects, and maybe even start new ones. For some, this led to the discovery of a green thumb. Whether you’ve jumped on the variegated house plant trend or re-landscaped your entire yard, there are a few eco-conscious ways you can improve your new green space.
The best way is to research your areas native plants. The results may surprise you. Native plants often attract a host of birds and butterflies, greatly improving the mini ecosystem of your yard. Believe it or not, plants often play an important role in the life cycle of other organisms. Butterflies have their preferred ‘host plants’ where they lay their eggs; that way the caterpillar has its food source readily available once it hatches. As it moves through its life cycle, munching on the leaves of its host plant, the caterpillar eventually turns into a chrysalis to become a butterfly. Even after this amazing transformation, the butterfly remembers which plant to sip nectar from and lay the new generation of eggs. On the flip side, birds know where to find their favorite insects for a tasty treat. Increasing the population of both birds and insects in your yard creates a healthy, balanced ecosystem for you to observe and enjoy. Native plants will also, naturally, be easier to care for in your backyard. They are already predisposed to the conditions you live in!
It is important to remember that, while many environmental issues are occurring on a global scale, it doesn’t fall on us as individuals to fix all of it at once. Something as simple as skipping the exotics and using native plants in your garden and landscaping will have a greater impact than many may realize. Don’t forget: our greatest opportunity for change begins with ourselves and our own community!