How Native Plants Help the Environment
Native plants are a natural part of southeastern Pennsylvania’s balanced ecosystem. By gardening with native plants, you maintain this natural cycle of life. Moreover, gardening with native plants helps the environment by reducing pesticide use, conserving water, improving air quality, and encouraging natural biodiversity.
Native plants have flourished in southeastern Pennsylvania for thousands of years because they have adapted to our local weather conditions and are more resistant to our pests. This means that, once established, native plants do not need pesticides, fertilizers, or extensive watering to survive. Not only is this good for the environment, it saves time and money.
Because natives do not need to be maintained like a conventional yard, gardening with them improves the water and air quality. First, pesticides (which, if over used or inappropriately used can kill beneficial insects and other wildlife or cause serious human health problems) can be eliminated or at least minimized since natives can exist without them. Without water run-off carrying pollutants in pesticides and pollutants, water quality is improved. While lawns requires maintenance like mowing and watering, native plants, with their extensive root systems and ability to retain and store water, require little watering, and if left to grow, don’t require mowing.
Furthermore, landscaping with native plants, wildflowers, and grasses supports the ecosystem particular to this area. Diverse varieties of bird, butterflies and animals are attracted to plants native to southeastern Pennsylvania and gardening with them helps maintain the biodiversity of our region.
Finally, native plants make beautiful additions to any type of garden.
One of the most enchanting destinations in Northern Delaware, Mt. Cuba is home to 650 acres of rolling Piedmont hills adorned with native woodland gardens and meadows. Inexpensive tours are led year round. Look out for the Wildflower Celebration held in Spring.
Longwood Gardens is a native woodlands and garden at one of the country’s finest horticultural institutions.