Native plants don’t need to be coddled, coaxed or coerced the way “foreigners” often do, making them easier on your schedule and eco-friendly too. Native plants conserve water and assist in rebuilding of depleted soils and greatly reduce the contamination of soil and groundwater by fertilizers and pesticides, as they are not dependant on these “supplements” for survival. They score additional eco and back-to-nature entertainment points, because they provide food and shelter for native critters.
Start your native garden with plants, rather than direct seeding, to keep the inevitable first year weeding chores much more manageable. While plants native to a garden’s location are suited to having their water needs met by the typical rainfall for said location – once they are established – attention to watering will be needed when first planting your selections. Purchased plants haven’t had the benefit of syncing with their environment from seedling stage – especially since the nursery that grew them would have had to water regularly due to the constraints of growing in a pot. So, do be prepared to supply supplemental water over their first full year in your landscape.
To best reap the rewards of going native, be sure to truly match plant selections to the soil type, typical moisture levels and light levels of the specific locations you will be growing them, not just the general region. Be open to planting named varieties that are directly descended from native species, rather than strictly sticking to just the straight species. This will greatly broaden your potential palette of “native” beauties, while allowing similar benefits.