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Learn the benefits of having native plants in your backyard

Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 11:03 am

By Karina Veaudry
Florida Native Plant Society Pine Lily Chapter

Editor’s note: Karina Veaudry has 25 years of experience as a landscape architect. Licensed in five states, Veaudry’s expansive resume includes park planning and design, municipal, commercial, greenways and trails, landscape ecology and federal projects. Veaudry speaks on the topics of conservation planning, low impact / sustainable design, vegetated roof design, cistern systems and the ecological benefits of native plants. In this article she will discuss the benefits of native plants.

Photo by Jenny Welch

Native plants contribute to water conservation.

Native plants are those that occur naturally in an area. They have evolved over time with the biological and physical factors specific to their region such as soil, climate and rainfall. Because they are acclimated to the rainfall and soil, they don’t require much irrigation, thus contributing to water conservation.
Native plants provide food and shelter for native wildlife. 

Native plant species are the only plants that provide the habitat and food sources that local birds, butterflies, other pollinators and wildlife are looking for.

Native plants help to restore regional ecology.

Native Plants are the best species adapted to local conditions that thrive with the least care and create a sense of place. Using native plants promotes wise stewardship of the land at our homes and businesses. Native species are members of a community of plants, animals, and microorganisms that keep each other in check and won’t harm natural areas.

Native Landscaping Principles:

• 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, more seasonal interest, and creates nesting areas.

• Vertical Layers: A multi-layered approach to your yard using groundcover, shrubs, understory trees and large canopy trees of different heights, creates a diverse habitat, provides more home cooling ability and cover for wildlife that utilize plants in different ways.

The Florida Native Plant Society holds monthly meetings every fourth Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Kissimmee Utility Authority Building: 1701 W. Carroll Street in Kissimmee.

The meetings include social time, (10) native plants of the month, native plant gardening, guest speakers and landscape design information.

Photo by Jenny Welch

The Native Plant Sale will feature Florida-native plants for purchase.

The sale will take place on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chisholm Park:
4700 Chisholm Park Trail, St. Cloud.

For more information on Florida’s native plants, visit the Florida Association of Native Plant Nurseries at www.afnn.org.