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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Benefits of Going Native

There are many benefits to using native plants in your landscape -- for you, for your community, and for wildlife.

Wildlife

Orange Coneflower
Hickory nuts are valuable food for squirrels.

With habitat disappearing at an alarming rate, you can help provide wildlife with an oasis of the habitat they need to thrive.  The native plants that you use can meet the needs, including food and cover, of native wildlife without causing long-term damage to local plant communities. With the right diversity of native plants in your urban landscape, you can provide:

  • Protective cover for many animals.
  • Seeds, nuts, and fruits for squirrels and other mammals.
  • Seeds, fruits, and insects for birds.
  • Nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • Larval host plants for butterfly caterpillars.

Prevent Introduction of Invasive Plants

The use of only native plants in your landscape helps limit the chances that potentially invasive, exotic plant species will be introduced into the environment around your home.  Many of the invasive, exotic plant species present in the South’s natural areas today were introduced as landscape plantings many decades ago. Continued introduction of new exotic plants into suburban landscapes will result in many new invasive plants in the future.

Orange Coneflower
Orange coneflower is attractive to people and wildlife.

Beauty

Many native plants produce showy flowers, abundant fruits and seeds, and brilliant fall foliage. By planting native plants, you will have a beautiful yard that is friendly to wildlife.

Low Maintenance

Native plants generally grow well and require little care when grown on proper soils under the right environmental conditions. By choosing the right native plants, you may be able to use fewer pesticides and less water.

Community

As more people use native plants in their urban landscaping, it adds to the available habitat for wildlife and benefits the community as a whole.  Going native helps save our natural heritage for future generations. 

To find out how you can get started, go to How To Go Native.

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