Incorporating native plant species into landscaping projects has become increasingly popular--but what counts as a native plant?  And why is there growing interest in utilizing them?

What Makes a Native

Simply put, native plants are those that didn't require human introduction to grow in a given environment and that have evolved in tandem with other species in their ecosystem. 

Plant species are usually native in a large geographical range, though they adapt over time to thrive in local growing conditions.  A plant might be native from Maine to Georgia, but the individual variety present in Maine is going to be more cold tolerant than the variety present in Georgia.

Benefits of Planting Native

Because native plants have adapted to local growing conditions, incorporating them into your garden can mean less watering, fewer pest problems, and healthier soil.  Native plants often have deep root systems that keep soil from compacting and prevent excessive run off.

Why Natives Matter

As human activities decrease the natural habitats available to local insect and wildlife, filling your garden with native plants can provide a valuable refuge for our critter neighbors. 

Native plants also help maintain biodiversity within our ecosystem.  A diverse ecosystem is a healthy ecosystem: biodiversity contributes to decreased disease among plants and increased nutrients and organic matter in soil.

Interested in adding native plants to your outdoor space?  Shop our KY native plant collection 

Priscilla DiFini