What is a Native Plant?A native plant is one that evolved in your area. This means that is hardy enough to handle your winters and summer seasons, stable enough to withstand disease, and has natural predators in your area so that it doesn't become overpopulated. Missouri native plants can be both beautiful and practical, and they require fewer materials because they are, well, native. The most interesting thing about native plants is that they can change a lot between states and even counties. In addition, just because a type of tree grows well in two states, doesn't mean that those varieties can be interchanged between states because they develop different immunities and attributions to temperature and climate. It's an intriguing thought, isn't it!
Reasons to Incorporate Native PlantsIf you've thought about planting native varieties in your garden, here are a few reasons that you'll really appreciate having native species in your space.
They Require Fewer Resources
Because native plants are naturally ready to adapt to the place that they came from, they tend to require not only fewer resources but less work. A native plant naturally adapts to the soil, weather conditions, natural predators, and more. Because of this, you shouldn't have to invest as much in soil additions, balancing the ph, and more. In addition, since they are well suited for the area, they are going to require less time to tend because they just work well in your space. This doesn't mean they will require no work at all. You may have to harvest them, prune them occasionally, or even weed them out - but you will find that they don't require nearly as much work as a plant that is native to say the Pacific after being brought to the Midwest.
They Don't Overgrow Your Area
We've all heard about the plants that completely overgrow an area. They aren't native to a place, and before you know it, it's taken over. One of the biggest reasons is because there are no natural predators for this plant. Maybe there aren't animals to eat it or birds that use it for their nests. When you plant native plants, you are helping the environment, the creatures that live in it, and helping to preserve the natural element of your area.
What is Native to my Area?
There are several ways to find out. One of the easiest is to contact your local conservation department, or visit their website. Here in Missouri, we have many native plants that are both beautiful and practical, so we've researched a few to suggest for your summer gardening space.
- Black Oak
- Black-eyed susan
- Coral Honeysuckle
- Cream Wild Indigo
- Eastern Blazing Star
- Eastern Redbud
- Glade Coneflower
- Indian Paintbrush
There are hundreds of plants and trees that are native to our area, and they are all unique and beautiful. If you want to learn more, you can visit the Grow Native database for a list of plants that are native to Missouri.
gardening season at the Lake of the Ozarks, we are right there with you! From native plants to unique and beautiful exotic options, we know that this year will be a great one for your garden. Stay tuned for more tips to get you through the winter and how to prepare for Spring. It's coming, folks!