Five bullet points on why planting natives in your landscape is a great idea.
By Melissa Selby, Master Gardener
Figure 1: Pesticides are transported to streams and ground water primarily by runoff and recharge. No point sources of pesticides originating from areas where they were applied – rather than point sources such as wastewater discharges – are the most widespread causes of pesticide occurrence in streams and ground water. (Modified from Majewski and Capel, 1995.)
- Your landscape without natives is a sink of resources. Lawns take 80% more water and the fertilizers and pesticides necessary to keep them healthy are polluting our waterways (Figure 1)
- Native plant are hosts to more than 1,200 moth species in the Pacific Northwest which means a whole lot of caterpillars available as food for baby birds.
- Birds rely on the diversity of size in plantings such as ground covers to low level shrubs to tall trees for their food and nesting sites. Non-native plantings can be like a desert for birds.
- Over 800 bee species live in Oregon, and they all rely on native flowers and their pollen to raise a healthy brood.
- Once established, natives take relatively little care. Adapted to living in your area they are happy to fend for themselves and feed others at the same time, even humans, as there are many natives out there that we find tasty too! (Blue Elderberry, Cherry, Cranberry, Indian Plum…)
For more information on natives please visit:
extension.oregonstate.edu---your local extension with many articles and resources
”Native Plants for Bees: 10 Species You Can Grow to Support Wild Bees in Oregon”, Oregon State University Extension Service Article EM 9363, September 2022
oregonflora.org----Oregon Flora, an amazing database with detailed search functions
npsoregon.org -----Native Plant Society of Oregon
nwf.org -----National Wldlife Federation native plant finder