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Photo credit: Megan Giulianelli

Native Plants

Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions where they naturally occur. These important plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds and other animals. Unlike natives, common horticultural plants -- like grass and exotic cultivars from Asia -- do not provide energetic rewards for their visitors and often require insect pest control to survive.

Native plants are also great to grow because:
  • Native plants do not require fertilizers and require fewer pesticides than lawns.

  • Native plants require less water than lawns and help prevent erosion.
    The deep root systems of many native plants increase the soil's capacity to store water. Native plants can significantly reduce water runoff. 

  • Native plants help reduce air pollution.
    Native plantscapes do not require mowing. Excessive carbon from the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming. Native plants sequester, or remove, carbon from the air. 

  • Native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.

  • Native plants promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage.

Learn more about New Jersey native plants:

Jersey-Friendly Yards

Homegrown National Park

National Wildlife Federation Native Plant Finder

Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station


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