5 Reasons to Use Native and Adapted Plants in Your Austin Landscape

Native plants in full bloom at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Native plants in full bloom at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

I love spring because it’s prime gardening season.  My Dad has had a backyard vegetable garden for as long as I can remember.  Growing up it was a family affair, and a fun one too!  I have a vivid memory of all four of us among the rows, picking green beans off the little bushes.   Nowadays I get really excited about landscaping at my home.  I use a majority of native and adapted plants, and continually sing their praises.  Here are 5 reasons why I love using native and adapted plants:

  1. Because the plants are from here (native) or do well here (adapted), they require fewer additional resources.  This means less need for pesticides, fertilizing, etc.  They’ll thrive with a lot less effort, and I’m all for that!
  2. They require less supplemental watering once established.  And xeric (desert) plants require almost none!  With our growing population, the need to conserve is very real, and using native and adapted plants allows us save our water for drinking.
  3. They are both beautiful AND tough.  These plants are used to hot temperatures, and won’t die on the first 100 degree day.  You can still have pretty flowering plants without having to baby them constantly.
  4. Native plants support the local ecosystem.  Birds and insects need food and shelter, and planting native varieties helps to ensure the health and survival of our native species.  As a bonus for providing food and habitat, you’ll get to watch them!
  5. They cost less in the long run.

Choosing plants appropriate for your local conditions is a win-win.  In Austin, the Grow Green Guide is a great plant list for our area.  Most of these plants are readily available at home improvement stores or local nurseries.  To purchase some of the more unique varieties of native plants, check out the plant sale at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.   They hold the sale twice a year — in April and October.  Pro tip:  Get there early if you can, be prepared to park a gazillion miles away, and bring a small wagon/garden cart if you have one.  And the chocolate daisies always sell out fast!

Sprucing up the house to sell and working on curb appeal?  That’s a perfect time to use native and adapted plants.  They’ll look great with less effort, leaving you more time for packing.   If you need plant suggestions, give me a call and I’ll share my list of favorites!


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