Why Native Plants
Are Key to Restoring Ecological Health
Benefits of Native Plants
Plants, native to our area grow especially well because they are adapted to our climate, soils, temperature and precipitation. They are key for our local ecosystems and will support and attract a greater variety and number of native butterflies, bees, birds and mammals into our gardens for us to enjoy.
They are low maintenance. Once established and planted in the right place they don't need watering, are very hardy, and will grow successfully to outcompete weeds.
They are adapted to our soils, so don't need fertilizer, and adapted to our native insects, therefore, don't need pesticides.
They are highly specialized in attracting native butterflies and bees because they provide ample nectar at the right time. The plant's physiology evolved to be attractive and practical to native pollinators.
Ornamental plants are bred for bloom size and colour but not for nectar production. They can look beautiful for our eyes but may not provide any benefit for pollinators. Also, pollinators can't access double bloom varieties.
Vegetable gardens and fruit trees benefit tremendously from pollination by native wild bees.
Native plants are larval hosts to our native insects and their predators, thus supporting their entire lifecycle. Insect predators help keep our gardens in balance.
Native plants feed local and migrating birds with insects, seeds, fruit and berries.
If native plants escape from your garden into the ravines or natural parks they will not cause the collapse of natural ecosystems.
Native wildflowers are incredibly beautiful and enhance the feeling of our locality.
They increase biodiversity and as a consequence ecological health and the resilience of our ecosystems.
In short, native plants bring back the wildlife into our gardens.
"Grow Me Instead" is a brochure from the Ontario Invasive Plant Council that makes recommendations on what to grow instead of some invasive species we find in our gardens.