Native Plants Provide Better Benefits for Landscaping

A main component of urban naturalization is the use of native plants. In the past, it has been popular to create landscapes primarily to meet human needs and to be visually pleasing. People did this using whatever plants they liked without much consideration to any other factors.

For homeowners, "curb appeal" is an important value of home ownership.
Many people value the look of having a house with an open yard in front. That is the traditional idea of a home with good curb appeal. The problem is that large lawns and non-native plants are harmful. The EPA has a list of benefits of native plants. Here are a few:
  • Water conservation
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Create ecosystem for wildlife
  • Lower heating and cooling bills
So what are native plants? 

Native plants include trees, shrubs, flowers and ground covers that are native to a particular region. Usually native plants are considered to be plants that existed in an area before European settlement. They can thrive in the native environment without human interference. This means no extra watering or fertilizing needs to be done.

An Arizona home uses native plants which can tolerate the climate. Grass would require much more water and maintenance.

Local nurseries and garden centers are likely to be able to help you select native plants. Look in your area for organizations that are focused on this issue. In the United States, Wild Ones is a national organization with local chapters that is focused on native landscaping.

Further information available at

United States Environmental Protection Agency
National Parks Service
National Wildlife Federation