Aug 28, 2018
By Ryan Mahoney, ACUA Communications Assistant
Growing a garden benefits the environment in a variety of
ways. Composting, using non-toxic fertilizers and growing your own produce
rather than relying on commercial produce are some of the many practices that
have a positive effect on the planet. Another great way to garden responsibly is
by including native plants in your garden.
Milkweed and Blazing Star
Native plants are plants that occur naturally in particular regions.
They thrive in the soils, moisture and weather from the area they originate. In
New Jersey, there are many beautiful native plants that have adapted to the
state’s wildlife and climate.
Choosing to grow native plants instead of exotic plants can
benefit the environment in a variety of ways. Including native plants in your
garden will naturally attract local birds, butterflies and pollinators, which
are essential to the sustainability of our local ecosystem.
Certain insects depend on native plants as their natural
habitat. They also have natural defenses to plant diseases and pests. On the
other hand, growing exotic plants can lead to more pest problems that would
require the use of toxic chemicals that negatively affect the soil.
Native plants can assist in managing rainwater runoff, which helps
replenish groundwater and reduce flooding. Gardeners that grow native plants
will also conserve water since the plants are accustomed to living off the
local moisture levels.
Cut leaf coneflower and Joe Pie Weed
There is another great reason why gardeners should love
growing native plants – they require less manual labor! Working on a garden can
be exhausting. Native plants need less
supplemental watering and require little to no fertilization. You will also
save money in the long term by spending less on chemicals and water.
Lastly, native plants are both colorful and attractive. They
come in a variety of shades and sizes that can go with your garden design.
Growing native plants in your garden is a great way to
improve your gardening experience. Both you and the environment will benefit!
Native Plant Society of
NJ (Southeastern Chapter)
Group holds monthly meetings at Stockton University
Jersey Friendly Yards
First Native Plant Nursery
Triple Oaks Nursery
Estell Manor, NJ
Flora for Fauna