Go Native but Not Wild

Find out how to incorporate native plants to help your landscape become low-maintenance.

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There's no such thing as a no-maintenance landscape, but the wise use of native plants can help create a low-maintenance one. Native plants often have the advantage of being disease- and insect-resistant. Some are widely adapted or tolerant of difficult landscape conditions.

However, there are as many poor-choice native plants as there are good ones. Natives, like other plants, may need fertilizing, watering and weeding to become established. They may have occasional pest problems and require some pruning.

Keep in mind that "going native" in your landscaping doesn't mean taking plants from the wild. Even if you remove a common plant from the wild, you may unknowingly be disturbing other species that might not grow there again for a century. When you dig a plant from the wild, you may also bring problems, such as poison ivy roots, into your garden in the soil around the wild plant's roots.

Instead of digging plants form the wild, find out how you can buy nursery-propogated native plants. One good way to get information is to contact your state native plant or wildflower society.

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