Why Plant Native?
Native plants evolved here. They are suited to our climate, our soil and have supported the native wildlife and insects thoughout time.
When properly situated and once established in good soils, natives will do well with little care, are drought tolerant and most can be grown with little or no additional fertilization and pesticides. They are rarely invasive as some non-natives have proven to be.
As with any plant, they do best when one places them in the correct micro-climates. Each plant thrives in the right amount of light and soils with optimum moisture content. Some do well in deciduous plant shade and others prefer a conifer canopy to limit exposure to rainfall in the winter months. Some like the drier upland soils and others can grow with their roots right above the water table. Nature has provided a full complement of choices for each environment.
Our natives, unlike most non-natives, are uniquely adapted to our unusual Pacific Northwest climate. We have fairly wet winters with a steady supply of rain. Yet our summers have very little, if any, measurable rainfall. Non-native plants usually require summer irrigation to survive if they are from a climate that gets regular summer rainfall, which is the norm for the majority of the USA. Drought tolerant non-natives can handle our summers, but some do not like our wet winters and can die or suffer from root diseases.
In these times when people are trying to economize in a down economy, people can save money by planting natives. Less money is spent on summer irrigation and pesticides. They also provide food and shelter for our native wildlife. They create a vegetative canopy to slow and absorb winter rainfall, thereby reducing flooding and erosion. They are a definite positive contribution to our environment.