Why grow native plants?
Promote BiodiversityHuman development through agriculture and urbanization has drastically reduced native plant communities in California. By growing native plants in our gardens, we are restoring some of the natural biodiversity of our area. Many species are dependent on the habitat provided by native vegetation and taken in aggregate, home plantings can enhance the wildlife populations of an area.
Reduce the use of waterNative plants are adapted to the unique climatic conditions of their growing area and once established they require little or no supplemental irrigation. When we grow plants found in our resident plant community, we use far less water than traditional garden landscapes. Using drought tolerant natives in our California gardens conserves a scarce natural resource and saves money on water costs; it's a sensible choice.
Reduce the use of pesticidesMany native plants are not severely effected by insect pests and diseases that afflict traditional ornamentals. Often, natives have adapted defense mechanisms to pests common in their habitats or have a high tolerance for pest damage. As a result, less pesticide is required to maintain native plant gardens in good condition. Decreasing or eliminating pesticide use in the garden also promotes biodiversity, reduces our exposure to toxic substances and saves money. Again, natives plants are a sensible choice.
Enjoy a low maintenance gardenSpend more time enjoying your garden and less time maintaining it. Natives tend to grow more slowly than traditional ornamentals and require less work at garden chores such as mowing, pruning, fertilizing and dividing. California native plants are adapted to a wide variety of growing conditions and fine native plant choices exist for virtually any garden environment. The biodiversity promoted by a native plant garden will reward the owner with satisfying experiences of discovery and observation, not only of the plants themselves, but a host of other species... birds, insects, mammals, etc. A good native plant garden complements the indigenous habitat and by growing plants found in our resident plant community, we bring in all sorts of nearby creatures dependent on that habitat. In a small but significant way, we as native plant gardeners begin to help sustain an ecosystem and secure a connection with the natural world that is infinitely more satisfying than mowing the lawn.