Using Native Plants
- Benefits to Landscaping with Native Plants
- Native Landscaping Principles
- Native Plant Species that Attract Wildlife
Native plants are those that occur naturally in an area. Native species have evolved over time with the biological and physical factors specific to their region such as soil, climate, and rainfall.
Native plants provide food and shelter for native wildlife. The great variety of plant species for all conditions carries a high habitat value. For a list of wildlife-friendly native plants, check out Native Plants for Backyard Florida Habitats. Check out the University of Florida's Wildlife Extension Web site for complete information on Landscaping for Wildlife.
Native plants help to restore regional landscapes. They are the best species adapted to local conditions that thrive with the least care and create a sense of place.
"Wherever I go in America, I like it when the land speaks its own language in its own regional accent."
--Lady Bird Johnson, Wildflowers Across America (1993).
Using native plants promotes wise stewardship of the land and conservation for our natural areas. Native species are members of a community of plants, animals, and microorganisms that keep each other in check and won't harm natural areas.
Where do you find native plants for your yard? Well, first, please don't remove them from natural wild areas. Instead, visit the National Native Plant Nursery Directory online to find plant nurseries in your state that sell native plants.
• Right Plant, Right Place--assess your local site conditions and select compatible plants whose ultimate size and shape fit your needs.
• Plant Diversity--using a variety of plants provides a more diverse wildlife habitat and more seasonal interest, and makes pest and disease damage less noticeable.
• Vertical Layers--a multi-layered approach to your lawn (e.g., using grass, ground cover, bushes or shrubs, and trees of different heights) creates a diverse habitat and provides more home cooling ability and cover for wildlife that utilize plants in different ways.
Live oak--mast (acorns)Quercus virginiana
Wax myrtle--berriesMyrica cerifera
Cabbage palm--fruitSabal palmetto
Longleaf pine--structurePinus palustris
- Association of Florida Native Nurseries
- Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
- Florida Native Plant Society
- National Native Plant Nursery Directory
- How to Naturescape - Plant Native
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests
- Poisonous Plants of the Southeast
- Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council