What is a Native Shrub?

M.R. Anglin
M.R. Anglin
Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

You have two different choices when it comes to planting a shrub in your garden: a native shrub and a non-native shrub. A native shrub is differentiated by a non-native shrub by virtue of where it originated. Native shrubs are those that are indigenous to a particular area while a non-native shrub is one that has been brought from one area to another. Many of the shrubs you may find in your local gardening supply store are non-native shrubs. Though, a non-native shrub may look nicer than a native plant, they are harder to care for and may have the potential to endanger the native habitat.

Many people advocate the use of native plants because they more friendly to the natural ecosystem. Some non-native species can escape the garden, invade the environment, and displace the native plants in an ecosystem. In such cases, they are called invasive plants. Native plants, on the other hand, are kept in check by animals and other natural systems so they are not likely to take over the ecosystem. Rather, they help to support the ecosystem and keep it healthy.

Another reason that native shrubs may be preferred is because these plants are adapted to the environment and do not require much care. For instance, a tropical plant will do well in the tropics but may quickly die if planted in the desert. A native plant may also have resistance to the bugs in the area and can feed and house native animals. Many times, a flowering shrub will attract birds and butterflies, two animals that can help to beautify the area. It can also help to support any species that may be endangered or threatened.

A garden of native species is one of the best things you can do for the ecosystem. They do not require much care and help to support the natural habitat. The benefits of choosing a native shrub rather than a non-native shrub may only be obvious if it is a part of a landscaping plan featuring other native plants. One native plant in a midst of a garden of non-native species is not likely to do much for the natural habitat. In addition, the amount of care the other plants need may adversely affect the native shrub that may not need as much water, fertilizer, or pesticides that a non-native plant might.

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