What is a native plant? It’s a plant that has evolved in the same region–in North America, one that has been here since before European settlement. It has evolved and developed over geologic time in response to rainfall, soil composition, climate and interaction with other species in the location to become a community. It provides a habitat for native wildlife. In other words, it has learned to play well with others.
If native plants are on your gardening radar at all, then you know that they:
- Don’t need fertilizers or much in the way of pesticides
- Require less water
- Save you money and time
- Help reduce air pollution
- Are beautiful and decorative
I was surprised to find that they do so much more. Native plants can do important things like contribute to the health and restoration of the ecosystem, prevent soil erosion and filter water and provide genetic resources for fighting disease.
In this day and age, there’s a growing trend to get back to a forgotten way of life, like slowing down and being kinder to the environment. What better way to begin than to enjoy native plants. Plant a prairie garden, use native grasses and flowers to landscape, take a step toward preserving our natural heritage.
In our Lawn and Garden Neighborhood, there are books to help you learn about native plants, like Armitage’s Native Plants for North American Gardens, 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants and Best Garden Plants for Kansas and much more. There are websites that have practical gardening help and plants and seeds available such as www.kansasnativeplantsociety.org and www.kansasheritage.org.
Come to our Get Your Green On 150 Ways fair on Saturday, April 16 here at the library from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for more ideas on how to enrich your life and our environment.