|Selecting Native Plants |
Imitate Nearby Natural Settings The best way to determine which native plants are appropriate for your property is to identify the native plants growing in the surrounding area under similar conditions, including amount of sun, type of soil, amount of moisture in the soil, and types of neighboring plants. (Books for plant identification are listed in the Resources and Further Reading section at the end of this booklet.) Note which native species grow near other native species, because this can be a good indication of which plants can be planted together without one species taking over. In order to attract a variety of native birds and butterflies, plant as many of the plant species you see growing nearby as possible. In addition, select and arrange the plants so that they vary in height from taller trees to ground covers, and so that you create a mixture of plant densities (some clumped, some spaced, and some open areas).
Starting From Scratch 1. Evaluate Your Yard
If there aren't many native plants nearby, you can still figure out which natives are appropriate once you determine how much moisture and sunlight the planting area gets, and how well the soil holds moisture. Take note of which areas receive full sun throughout the day, which receive sunlight only part of the day, and which areas are in the shade most or all of the day. Also notice whether the shade is complete, or if patches of sunlight filter through. You may find it helpful to draw a rough map of your yard.