Native Plants by Anne Murphy

For a new, front lawn project in my yard (not Wildergarden); I bought native plants. I am trying to reduce my front lawn. Why native plants? Natives are plants that grow in the (Miami) soil and microclimate of my yard in north central Indianapolis. Luckily, there are a few local groups that sell native plants.

I attended a sale hosted by Native Plants Unlimited. They do the work of finding plants that are from my area. I chose plants that grew in full sun and that were aesthetically pleasing to me. Native plants are better for the environment because they already grow in the local soil and are beneficial to the wildlife and insects that live in the yard. It is fine to chose individual native plants for practical or aesthetic reasons. The important point is that native plants will help your lawn become the best habitat it can be.

Virginia Bluebells

The Significance of Native Plants

Most of our plants at Wildergarden are native. They were either deposited by nature (volunteers), or we bought and planted them for restoration.

What is a native plant? Science indicates that these local plants evolved, and are well-matched, with the soil they grew in during our natural history after the last glacier receded. Therefore, “native” applies to plants living naturally in the correct soil type and climate location.

Why are native plants important at Wildergarden? Because they provide sustainable biodiversity of flora and fauna. It’s important to understand that “native” means the power of an ecosystem, not just the existence of an individual plant. Nature produces a variety of plant species interacting together with multiple organisms. Being native, they thrive on natural soil nutrients. They protect our environment by sparing the use of mined and petroleum-derived fertilizers (NPK products).

Native plants provided structural, dietary and medicinal support for indigenous Indiana people. For current society, their primary benefit is environmental health.

We realize that definitions of “native” may shift due to climate change.

Check out additional resources about Native Plants HERE.