Pennsylvania is home to thousands of beautiful plants that naturally thrive in our climate and are part of our diverse ecosystems. But these systems are taking on more pressure than ever and we can’t afford to take them for granted. Climate change and a proliferation of non-native invasive species are taking up space once claimed by native plants.
To combat that loss of space, next month Pennsylvania will celebrate its first Pennsylvania Native Species Day. Established by the Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council, June 17th will now help Pennsylvanians better understand how important our native plants, trees, insects, fish and other animals are, while also helping us recognize the pressures invasive nonnative species exert on their survival.
A great way to celebrate Native Species Day would be planting a native flower or tree in your yard or garden. According to the state Bureau of Forestry, there are 21,000 native plants, trees, shrubs, and vines in Pennsylvania, and choosing one of them for your garden has many advantages.
Penn State Extension puts it this way: “Because they evolved here, they are well-adapted to our climate and are generally easy to care for once they are established. Many native perennials like less fertile soil and require the addition of little or no fertilizer. Perhaps the most compelling reason to choose natives is to preserve Pennsylvania’s biodiversity.”
But don’t grab plants from the side of the road or while on a hike because you’ll further interrupt the delicate ecosystems. Instead, visit a trusted nursery and ask for help for which native plants would do best with the type of soil you have at home.
Penn State Extension has a few suggested native plants for Pennsylvania perennial gardens:
- Butterfly Weed
- Ox-eye sunflower
- Great blue lobelia
- Summer phlox
- Golden ragwort
At Wolff’s, we can help you find the native plants that are best for your garden!