The Truth About Native Plants

Wasatch Mountain Flowers

Find out the truth about native plants and whether you should use them in your landscape.

1. Native does not mean it will grow in your flower garden.

                For every region there are hundreds of native plants. however, just because they grow in your region does not mean they will work in your garden. It is important to do your homework and find native plants that match the climate at your home. Take note of where they grow naturally, is it at high elevation or under lots of shade. Make sure you mimic the plants natural environment to get the best results.

2. Native does not mean drought tolerant.

                Often times the term native plant is used interchangeably with drought tolerant, while many native plants are drought tolerant this is not always the case. Even in Utah’s arid climate there are many different native plants with a wide variety of water needs. Make sure you are paying close attention to how you water your native plants; too much water can kill your plants just as easy as not enough.   

3. Native pants are aggressive and will take over a garden.

                While many native species can be aggressive it does not mean you can’t use them in your garden. Try planting aggressive species in planters and pots to keep them under control. Also look at proper spacing to ensure you will have enough room for the plant to get to its full growth potential. Also make sure you keep large plants from taking over a path or sidewalk, and consult an expert on the best place for the plants you want to feature.

Potted Wild Flower

4. Native plants require you to change out the soil.

                Remember to always match the plant to the site and find out what soil type does the native plant thrive in. bringing in the right soil can be costly and does not mean you will get the same outcome. For many people the choice to switch to native plants is done to reduce maintenance. So to achieve the desired low maintenance make sure you do your homework and look at soil, water requirement, climate, and what type of sunlight it receives naturally. For help with soils, take a sample to your local extension office for a full analysis.

5. Native plants are expensive and hard to find.

                All varieties of plants can become costly and native plants are no different, however there are many species that are very affordable and easily found at local nurseries. For more information check out Jordan Valley Conservation Garden Park for a look at many native plants and find out where to buy.

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