Are Native Plants Always the Right Choice?

Are Native Plants Always the Right Choice?

There’s power in a title, that’s for sure. You’re more likely to respect someone who is referred to as “President” or “Queen” than as “the guy in charge,” even if the third person is more qualified and a better leader.

This same principle can be found in the landscaping world. No, we’re not taking a jab at our boss (we promise) or gesturing toward some secret hierarchy of landscaping masterminds (though we’d top the list if we were). Instead, we’re talking about the idea that native plants are better than non-native alternatives.

It seems the push for native plants, especially recently, has reached a fever pitch. This can be attributed to many things, many of which are misperceptions. In fact, non-native plants are often better than their native counterparts. Yes, really!

So, rather than buying into the hype or falling for a fancy title, we’re here to help you sort through the information (and misinformation) and make the right plant selections for your property.

This aerial shot shows off the beautiful, green fronds of palm trees in Florida. These palms, maintained by commercial lawn care company Landcrafters Florida, show the quality landscaping in Clearwater.

Common Misconceptions

When considering native plants for your property, listen carefully for the voice of your mother scolding, “Would you jump off a cliff just because everyone else did?!”

If your answer is yes, then by all means, buy up all the native plants you can find. If you’re more of an independent thinker willing to look at the current trend with a bit of skepticism, then read on!

We’re not suggesting that using native plants is entirely outdated or a complex game of smoke and mirrors designed to waste your money. Instead, we’re merely using the facts to shed some light on the subject. After all, not all that glitters is gold!

Unnatural Nature

Many people believe that because a plant is native to a region, it will excel when planted on their property. They then wonder what went wrong when the plant fails to develop as expected, demands intense amounts of care, and otherwise acts unhappy (yes, we personify plants—it’s kind of our job).

The truth is, there’s nothing natural or native about modern cities and towns. Whether you’re trying to create a homey oasis, cozy coffee shop, or local commercial center, the fact of the matter is that the landscape has been disrupted by roads, parking lots, and your building.

In other words, you can’t expect native plants to excel in the non-native environment of human infrastructure!

The Maintenance Myth

If a plant grows naturally in your area, it should help create a stunning landscape with little effort, right?

Wrong. This common misconception leads many businesses and homeowners to invest in native plants that they believe will require little to no maintenance. In reality, native plants often require a lot of work!

From the correct fertilization to proper disease control, the needs of native plants can be quite extensive despite being natural to the area. The idea that they do not demand your time, money, and attention has led to disappointment and perceived failure for many businesses and homeowners who expected better.

Animal Attraction

Say you want to surround your property with beautiful local wildlife such as butterflies, hummingbirds, and more. One of the best ways to attract these shy creatures is to incorporate the right plants into your landscape design.

It seems logical that native plants would attract native animals, right? The truth is some non-native plants do a better job of bringing wildlife to your doorstep than their native counterparts do!

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Property

They may have a catchy title, be trendy, and even make logical sense to the untrained landscaper, but the fact remains that native plants are not always the best option for your property.

It’s okay, though—don’t panic! By working with industry experts who are knowledgeable about not just the plants available in your region but also the different climates, soil types, and more than help them thrive, you can rest assured that your property will be bristling with beautiful plants and wildlife.

 

Landscaping professionals like Landcrafters can provide expert insight and guidance to make your vision for your property come to life using both native and non-native plants. From complementary color schemes to hardy all-season plants to features that capture the vibe you want your landscape to emit, the experienced experts at Landcrafters are ready to turn your property into a masterpiece.

No matter the scale, complexity, or uniqueness of your project, we’re here to help. Contact us today via our website or by phone at (727)-201-3547! We’re happy to provide personalized insights to help your property excel.

You can also add to your landscaping knowledge for free by checking out our information-packed blog! It’s updated weekly, so be sure to stop by now and then for the latest landscaping tips!