We’re celebrating Native Plant Month in May and you should too! Below are a few terrific reasons why native plants are the best choice for your landscaping and backyard habitat needs.
Restore Wildlife Habitat
Habitat loss is the leading cause of declining wildlife populations. Using native plants in your backyard can help provide some of this critical habitat. In fact, studies show that native plants may support over three times as many wildlife species compared to ornamental varieties.
Planting your garden, parking lot planters, and streamsides with multiple layers – short, medium, and tall plants (including trees) – will provide shelter that attracts many native songbirds.
Pollinators, such as birds, bees, and butterflies are a critical link in our food systems and help sustain our quality of life. Native plants provide the foraging and nesting sites that are critical for healthy pollinator populations. When selecting native plants for your backyard, choose a variety of plants which will bloom throughout the spring and summer months and well into fall.
Do not forget to provide a source of water for your beneficial wildlife. Shallow water containers are great for birds as well as insects that need an easy way to access water without drowning.
Plants that are native to the Pacific Northwest are generally better adapted to the long rainy winters and dry summers of our region. Planting native vegetation that is adapted to local soil conditions can reduce summer watering needs and eliminate the need for fertilizers and chemicals. Be sure to water newly planted areas during dry periods for the first year. Once established, your plants are free to look beautiful with little attention from you!
Which native plants are right for your property?
The following guides provide excellent information on trees, shrubs, and ground cover for native plants that will not only thrive here in the Pacific Northwest, but will also provide valuable habitat for our native wildlife, including pollinators.
You can also celebrate by learning more about native plants. Check some of the links below for native plant information and activities underway in celebration of Native Plant Awareness Week
- Native Plant Society of Oregon
- Washington Native Plant Society
- Oregon Flora Project
- Plant Native
- Pacific Northwest Wildflowers