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Do you limit your garden to plants native to your region?

By Bart Ziegler.
Call me politically incorrect but I haven't jumped on the non-imported plant trend that has swept parts of the garden world, resulting in catalogs, websites and nurseries dedicated to native trees, shrubs and flowers. In some quarters that makes me a bad person, an unreconstructed Old Order gardener.

Native-plant purists insist that the best way to take care of the Earth is to grow only those things that nature has provided in your region. They say introduced plants—those transported from abroad by early settlers or through the plant industry's ever-eager foraging—may pose a hazard to existing flora. Native plants, they contend, have evolved to be in harmony with their surroundings and demand fewer resources such as water and fertilizer.


Asked by tasches at 2:20 PM on Sep. 16, 2010 in Home & Garden

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Answers (3)
  • I have many native plants--two rain gardens and a section of prairie plants, but I don't limit myself to them. I'm with tasches about native plants being low maintenance. The vegetables garden of course is a different story. If I'm planning to add some new perennials or shrubs, I do see if a native might be a good choice for that spot.

    Answer by mikesmom65270 at 11:13 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • While I am not a native plant purist, I do enjoy native plants in my garden/beds. They require less coddling, and are thriving in their environment :)

    Answer by blessedwithree at 2:30 PM on Sep. 16, 2010

  • Yet some of these native-plant Nazis will go on about the heirloom tomatoes and rare purple-skinned potatoes they coddle in their vegetable gardens. But if you start applying the no-imports restriction to edible plants most of the kitchen garden would disappear.

    No more tomatoes or potatoes—they came from South America. Rip out the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage—all European imports. Forget about watermelon—its ancestors came from Africa. And nix the peppers—they hail from Central and South America.

    Comment by tasches (original poster) at 2:20 PM on Sep. 16, 2010