Why You Should Use Florida Native Plants in Your Landscape

Sweet AcaciaThese days, professional landscapers are putting emphasis on “growing native”. While it’s not a must in vegetable gardens, you should use native Florida plants in your landscape. Generally, plants are chosen because of visual or food preferences, instead of by environment and habitat of the species.

What we need to understand here is that plants removed from their native locale are confused in new settings. They don’t talk the talk in this unfamiliar ecosystem. Therefore, they can’t communicate with their co-creations to form an advantageous relationship. Whereas, native plants help each other survive and sustain. They share communal ground – soil that has adapted to their highest good over the years. Influences that one plant has on the soil, are adopted by the other plants.

Native Florida plants also form relationships with native Florida bacteria, fungi, birds, butterflies and insects. Resident co-creations cohabitate in peace.
Not so when non-native plants are introduced to “foreign” soil. They are bewildered and since they can’t convey their needs and boundaries to their new neighbors; non-native plants seldom survive.

Within their native ecosystem, the fungi, insects and bacteria have reached an understanding that they are permitted to partake of plant food, only to a certain extent. If insects, etc. are not respectful and eat too much, the plant will not thrive or reproduce. This would not serve the highest good of all concerned, as insects, etc. would squander their main source of nourishment. The smart insect has realized the extent of plant tissue he can ingest without disturbing the plant’s natural growth and reproductive cycle.

So, by interspersing plants in our landscape that are foreign to the Florida ecology, we disturb the divine harmony of our co-creations that nature developed before humans generated large-scale changes in the environment.

Let’s talk about growing native.
Native Florida plants are beneficial to humans and fauna in our ecosystem. You won’t need to use as much pesticide. Storm water runoffs of pesticides can pollute lakes and rivers.

Likewise, you won’t need as much fertilizer by using native Florida plants in your landscape. Nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer drains into our rivers, lakes and ponds, leading to overgrowth of algae. If water looks like green slime and smells noxious, it will have a strong negative effect on aquatic life, people and pets.

Pollinators, such as bees, caterpillars and butterflies depend upon the nectar that native Florida plants provide for sustenance. If you’re interested in attracting butterflies, consider Lantana, partridge pea, pencil flowers, white peacock or milkweed, all native Florida plants.

Native Florida plants are happy. They co-exist peacefully with their co-creations, acting as a source of food and shade from the broiling Florida sun. By relying less on fertilizer and pesticides, you are doing your part to support biodiversity and sustainable landscapes. You’ll likely foster the “growing native” movement among other homeowners in your community.
If you’re in the market for trees, why not choose a local landscaping company, such as Garden Services that operates a 10-acre tree farm. Some native trees are Silver Buttonwood, Florida Red Bay, Wild Lime, Sweet Bay Magnolia or Sweet Acacia and more.

Now you can see that to create a low-maintenance landscape, populate it with native Florida plants. After your landscape is completed, Garden Services will accommodate your year-round maintenance needs.

Whether you are a new homeowner, looking for landscaping from the “ground up” or you want to give your premises a facelift, our professional team will guide you through each step of the process.

I invite you to contact me at Gardening Services with your questions and landscaping needs by: phone (954) 680-8100 or E-mail RobertClauss@GardenServices.us
Until next time, Happy Gardening!