Creating sustainable landscapes for your homeowner’s association is all about selecting the right plants for landscaping. By choosing native plant species that are local to the environment your association can do its bit to support local wildlife and create a sustainable footprint for the community. According to National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) homeowners are excited about the enormous environmental and economic benefits of using native plants. Here’s a look at why your association should incorporate native plants so they everyone can truly enjoy the beautiful landscape.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) using native plants for your landscaping can prove to be immensely beneficial for the environment. Since native plants are already adapted to conditions of local soil, they won’t need as much fertilizer as other plants to grow and mature. Native plants are also better adapted to fend off insects in the area naturally and therefore require much less pesticides, which runoff into water supplies. The use of native plants reduce the use of chemical fertilizer, pesticides and other toxic landscape maintenance treatments, thereby reducing environmental contamination, and hardy native plants can also help filter stormwater and greywater.
Florida has a rich variety of native plants in every size and color that exhibits seasonal variation from the greens of early spring, to the vibrant yellows and reds of autumn. Many native plants produce stunning showy flowers and offer abundant colorful fruits and seeds for local wildlife.
Low Cost and Hassle-free Maintenance
When native plants become established, they generally require little maintenance, minimal irrigation or chemical application. Based on an Applied Ecological Services study done on larger properties over 20 years, the cost was about $3,000 per acre for native or prairie wetlands, which is comparatively much lower than $20,000 per acre cost for turf grass.
Less Pollutants And Improved Air Quality
By choosing native plants for your landscaping, you are creating a healthier place for your family and your community. Many native trees like oak and maples can effectively store greenhouse gas- carbon dioxide. Moreover, landscape maintenance equipment such as lawn mowers cause noise and sound pollution. The exhaust from such equipment is responsible for up to 5% of ozone-forming volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and also emit toxic pollutants into the air. Switching to native plants will significantly cut down on air pollution.
Support Local Wildlife And Pollinators
Using native plants in your association will help create diverse habitats for local wildlife and pollinators like butterflies and bees, provide habitat for birds and other forms of wildlife, as well as offering protective shelter for mammals. Native plants are also a source of food for pollinators such as hummingbirds, native bees, butterflies, moths, and bats. The nuts, seeds, and fruits from native plants are essential for the sustenance of all forms of wildlife.
Florida Native Plants For Your Association’s Landscape
Using native plants in your homeowners association for landscaping will help create bio-diverse pathways for local pollinators, insects and birds to move freely and easily. This in turn will improve pollinator health, and give a boost to ecological restoration efforts. With so many diverse benefits it’s worth raising awareness among your members and residents to get them onboard and incorporate native plants into the landscape. You can ask for advice and tips about native plants from your local nursery or plant retailer. At Wilcox Nursery & Landscaping Services, we have a plethora of information available for you about Florida native landscape design.