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Native Plants vs. Non-Native Plants for Landscaping Design

Dynamic landscape designs can completely transform the look of your property. Getting the right look is just one part of the design process though. You also want a design that will last and thrive in your environment. This is where the native plants vs. non-native plants debate comes in. What’s the best option for your landscape design?

Read on to compare different plant varieties and what you can expect from each one.

The Difference between Native and Non-Native Plants

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a native plant is “a plant that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem.” There are dozens of native plants in South Michigan, from mountain mint to ostrich fern to white oak and beyond.

A non-native plant is one that is not naturally found in the region. This doesn’t mean that the plants can’t thrive in that region. It simply means that they are not naturally occurring there. A human had to bring the plant from another area into that region.

You can use both native and non-native plants in your landscape design, depending on your goals and property characteristics. Check out the benefits below to see which plants are right for you.

Benefits of Using Native Plants in Landscape Design

Native plants are conditioned to work within a specific environment. They thrive in the climate for that region, which means you don’t have to meticulously maintain them. Most will grow well with nothing more than Mother Nature assisting them. If you want a hassle-free landscape design, this is a great option for you.

Also note that there is a wide variety of native plants, no matter where you live. You won’t have a limited selection. If you work with local landscape designers that are familiar with local nurseries, you can get a tons of options that will survive well in your garden.

Benefits of Using Non-Native Plants for Landscape Design

The one drawback to using native plants is that your neighbors may have some as well. If you want a unique landscape design that stands out from the rest, you may want to incorporate some non-native plants. You’ll need to be aware of each plant’s maintenance requirements, but you can find plenty of options that aren’t native to your region.

Note that some non-native plants can be invasive. This means they will quickly take over your landscaping if they’re not well kept. Our landscape designers and horticulturists work hard to avoid using invasive species, but sometimes they’re the perfect fit for the aesthetic you’re going for. In that case, you simply need to recognize the plant’s nature and proactively keep it under control.

Right Plant, Right Place – That’s Our Landscape Design Motto

Here at Berns Landscaping, we use the “right plant, right place” approach to landscape design. Our goal is to put the perfect plants in each area of your property. We will assess light exposure, soil content, and adjacent plants to pinpoint the best options for each location. This may include a combination of native and non-native plants, or it may focus mostly on one plant category.

If you’d like a personalized landscape design for your property, contact us at (586) 756-1145. Berns Landscaping offers commercial and residential landscape design, as well as new construction landscaping and property maintenance. You can count on us to keep your plants looking their best.