Native Gardening

Gardening with Native Wildflowers
Gardening with Native Wildflowers

Why Garden with Native Wildflowers?

white columbine overlain on a bee on flax.
Photos by Kim Pierson.

Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions where they naturally occur. These important plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds and other animals. Unlike natives, common horticultural plants do not provide energetic rewards for their visitors and often require insect pest control to survive.

Native plants are also advantageous, because:

  • Native plants do not require fertilizers and require fewer pesticides than lawns.
  • Native plants require less water than lawns and help prevent erosion.
    The deep root systems of many native Midwestern plants increase the soil's capacity to store water. Native plants can significantly reduce water runoff and, consequently, flooding.
  • Native plants help reduce air pollution.
    Native plantscapes do not require mowing. Excessive carbon from the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming. Native plants sequester, or remove, carbon from the air.
  • Native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.
  • Native plants promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage.
  • Native plants are beautiful and increase scenic values!

To learn more about native plant gardening, explore the links below or contact your local Native Plant Society!

Related Topics

butterfly on purple wildflowers.
Photo by Kim Pierson.

Other Resources and Links