First, since they grow naturally in the local area that means they’ve adapted to our climate so they more drought tolerant and able to handle hot, dry summers and they’re also hardy enough to deal with cold winters.
Native plants also require much less watering and don’t need pesticides or fertilizers, so that helps keep harmful chemicals out of our soil and storm water runoff and helps save you time and money on maintaining your landscaping.
Native landscaping also can improve our air quality. Since native plants require virtually no maintenance, that means there is less of a need to use mowers, trimmers and other lawn equipment that emit pollutants that dirty the air. You may not think that running a lawn mower causes much air pollution, but in fact, lawn and garden equipment can contribute as much as 5% to the total ozone pollution in a city like Indy.
Native planting is becoming increasingly popular because of the benefits of going native, so these types of plants are easy to find. The most important thing to do before you head to the nursery is do a little research and have an idea what type of landscape you want to create, take note of the type of soil in the area and how much sun exposure the area receives. There are lots of websites, one example is the Indiana Native and Wildflower Society (http:www.inpaws.org) that can recommend native plants for full sun, partial sun or shady areas. Finally, make sure to ask questions as you’re browsing. If you’re unsure about a plant type or you need some help getting started Indy has some great local nurseries with knowledgeable staff that can be a big help.