For a Healthy Yard, Go Native!

Native plants in landscape setting.

Native plants in landscape setting.

A healthy yard is full of plants and trees that are supported by the natural environment, provide food and habitat for pollinators and wildlife, and do not require costly and polluting measures to allow them to thrive.

Native species are adapted to the normal weather extremes, expected rainfall, and the other native plants and animals indigenous to the area in which they evolved.  As a result, once native species are established they require much less maintenance than non-native species. They require less watering, little or no pesticides and fertilizers, and less trimming and upkeep. They also provide food and shelter for up to 10-15 times more species of birds, butterflies and other native wildlife, and they do not spread and choke out other plants like many non-native, invasive species do.

This means you:

  • Save water
  • Limit toxins on your yard
  • Provide food and shelter to native birds, butterflies and wildlife
  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Have a beautiful, healthy yard
  • Are¬†a good steward of the land and water

So, why not, go native!?

Courtesy of Glenn Ticehurst

Courtesy of Glenn Ticehurst

There are plenty of resources out there to find great species that will thrive in your yard and look beautiful, too!

Click on the links below for more information.

Native Alternatives to Invasive Landscape Plants. This presentation by Water and Land Use Task Force Member Glenn Ticehurst suggests native plants to choose over common non-native landscape plants. Replace Yellow Flag Iris, Burning Bush, Multiflora Rose, Japanese Stiltgrass, and Norway Maple with even more lovely native plants.

Westchester County Native Plant Brochure: This brief but wonderful pamphlet gives helpful tips on getting started with natives, lists resources, and provides a chart with recommended native species for landscaping in Westchester County, including trees, shrubs, ferns, flowering plants, and grasses.

The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College provides the two lists below of recommended native plants for gardeners, compiled by Carolyn Summers.  They break down the lists into very specific descriptions that are sure to help you find exactly what you need for your specific yard conditions.

  • Native plants for sun¬†– this includes lists of sun loving native plants that are categorized based on height, need for moisture, and other planting area¬†considerations.
  • Native plants for shade¬†– this includes lists of shade loving plants categorized by groundcovers, ephemerals, and various height/size of plants.
Choose a Red Maple over a non-native Norway Maple!

Choose a Red Maple over a non-native Norway Maple!

Native Plants beneficial to birds. Finally, if you love birds, check out this list to attract birds to your yard.  Birds provide a great deal of color and character that is sure to be lacking in non-native landscapes.

This Invasive Species brochure from the New England Wild Flower Society helps you know what not to grow.

More about Native Plants:

Bringing Nature Home

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