What are Native Plants?
A native plant does not mean that the plant has been in the area since the beginning of time. A Florida native plant is considered native if it has lived in the area since before Europeans traveled to this land. When the Europeans came around, they introduced new plants and animals that even to this day cause destruction on the environment.
An exotic plant would be the opposite of a native plant, which is what travelers and traders have brought into Florida. Not every exotic plant or animal is dangerous to the environment, and some are more damaging than others, which is why it is crucial to do research on the plants you are wanting to plant on your property. Planting native isn’t only better for the environment; it also will be easier on you in the long run.
Why Should You Plant Native?
Native Plants are Stronger
A Florida native plant has withstood scorching summers, beautiful but toxic bugs, and incredible hurricanes charging through for millennia. These plants have been evolving over time to become stronger to the elements, predators, and disease.
Native Plants Cater to the Already Existing Ecosystem
The Florida native animals are already dependent on the native ecosystem where they have been for thousands of years. By taking their home away, they are losing defense mechanisms, food sources, and mating grounds. The animals aren’t the only ones that Florida native plants help thrive, they help us in the long run, too.
Florida native plants have deep roots, helping to reduce erosion of the soil around them. The dirt is the most essential thing in the forest; without it nothing would grow! These deep roots also help keep the soil and other debris from washing into local waterways. Florida’s native plants also stay green for longer, so they can slow down wildfires helping to protect the environment around it as well as people who may be nearby.
Require Less Resources
Planting plants that need a lot of water is a good way to engorge your water footprint. Florida native plants are adapted to our local conditions, so they require less water to survive. If you are doing your best to use as little pesticides as possible, going native is also another easy way out. Many Florida native plants are pest-resistant toward pests that exotic plants can’t handle.
The Risks of Planting Exotic Species
When you plant exotic species on your property, you risk these plants breeding with native plants, which disrupts their pure genetical code. These hybrids can cause damage to the Florida native habitat, and if they spread, it’s worse for everyone.
If an exotic or hybrid plant spreads, that means there are fewer native plants. Without Florida native plants, the native animals have lost their food and shelter. Exotic plants can be so aggressive, they can eradicate an entire plant species, disrupting the ecosystem’s delicate balance.
If you are looking to plant native on your property, give us a call for a free quote!