Introduce Native Plants

Native plants thrive in our region. They have evolved to coexist with local wildlife and have adapted to the regional climate and soil. This makes them uniquely qualified to be low-maintenance and supportive of our native birds, insects and animals.

Beauty, hardiness and environmental benefits all wrapped up in one — plant some natives today.

Top Benefits of Native Plants.

  • Conserve and filter water. Native plants frequently have roots that reach deep to conserve and pull up water when it is scarce.
  • Attract butterflies and other pollinators. These valuable insects are critical to our crops, flowers, and plants.
  • Protect soil resources. Deep roots help control erosion.
  • Reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides. Native plants simply grow better in local soil and climate.
  • Provide food and shelter for wildlife. Native plants feed native wildlife; local wildlife don’t eat plants brought in from other habitats.
  • Discourage invasives from gaining a foothold in the landscape. Since invasive plants aren’t tasty to native creatures, their reproduction can get out of control.

Where can you purchase natives?

A number of local options are available.

The D&R Greenway Land Trust, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, and Toadshade Wildflower Farm each offer periodic sales of New Jersey native plants.

Local nurseries also offer a variety of native plants. Ask a knowledgeable sales associate or read more below to know what to purchase.

What plants are invasive and which are native?

Learn about invasives. The Municipality of Princeton maintains a “Do Not Plant” list for residents.

Tour natives. Visit the Karen Colihan Native Plant Garden within the Mercer Educational Gardens to see a variety of native plants.

Learn about natives. The Native Plant Society of New Jersey maintains a list of native plants by county. More information about native plants can be found at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

Keep it low maintenance. Review the Master Gardeners of Mercer County’s suggestions on low maintenance native and wildflower plantings.

Incorporate natives. For a step-by-step guide to integrate native plants into your yard, check out Jersey Friendly Yards.

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