Native Plants

-photo by Ken Schmidt

 

 

Why should we use Native Plants in our Florida landscaping?

 

Wood duck and her chicks - photo by Ken Schmidt

Irrigation of lawns and landscaping in Florida represents the single largest use of water from our municipal water supplies. This water use has seriously impacted the aquifer, which is the source of our drinking water and water that supports Florida’s magical springs and other ecosystems.  In addition, fertilizers and pesticides used on lawns are major sources of pollution in our lakes, rivers, and bays.

Non-native plants such as potato vine, kudzu, water hyacinth and pampas grass, in their native habitats grow under certain constraints: soil composition and nutrients, wind,  rainfall,  temperature, sun or shade, humidity. Removed from those constraints, the plant may thrive beyond all expectations or desires.

Invasive non-native plants are among the greatest threats to existing ecosystems. They can wipe out native plants and destroy wildlife habitat. They can diminish the light, water, nutrients and space available to native species, alter hydrological patterns, soil chemistry, moisture-holding capacity, and erodibility and change fire regimes.

 

 

We want to help you develop a beautiful, life-supporting and environmentally sensitive native plant landscape that:

 

  • Is ecological and economical. Native plants can minimize or eliminate lawn  fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation.
  • Promotes and supports biodiversity. Native plants provide food and habitat for birds, butterflies and pollinators.
  • Helps to redesign suburbia into “Real Florida,” a gardening approach that promotes Florida’s natural beauty and authentic sense of place.
  • Has  the right plant for the right place. Native plants can thrive in all of Florida’s natural conditions, from full sun and sandy soils to deep shade and wet soils.
  • Has hardy edible plants for both year-round and seasonal gardening. Native plants or Florida-friendly edibles can provide healthy, home-grown food for you, your family and friends.