Have you heard the buzz about native plants? They are the topic of many garden shows and seminars lately. Native plants are more tolerant of our seasonal conditions, and because they enjoy our climate and soils, they can grow strong, which makes it easier for them to fight off disease, organisms, and fungal pathogens.
Why are these native plants important though, and what do they bring to your landscaping? That is a great question! 95% of land in the Midwest has been modified over time through agriculture and the building and growth of cities and towns. This affects local wildlife and the ecosystem, but we have an opportunity to create a natural ecosystem in our own backyards. Here are a few native Illinois plants:
Asclepias Tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
- This plant loves full sun and sandy soil
- It has bright orange flowers in summer
- Averages about 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide
- This is food for larval and adult forms of the monarch butterfly
Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susans)
- Loves full sun and well drained soil
- Sunny, golden daisy shaped flowers with a raised black center
- It is a spreading plant that grows about 3 feet tall
Echinacea Purpurea (Purple Coneflowers)
- They like full sun, and are adaptable to poor soils
- They are a spreading plant that grows about 3 feet tall
As gardening enthusiasts and landscapers we have the power to restore a portion of the land to the native Illinois ecosystem. Our backyard gardens have never been more powerful and more needed!