New Jersey Audubon encourages you to visit one of our plant sales, located throughout the state. There you will find a variety of native plant species to incorporate into your garden that will support native pollinators.
Gardening with native plants is beneficial to wildlife, their habitats, and the environment overall. Plants become native when they have evolved in a given place over a long period of time and have formed relationships with their natural surroundings and the wildlife that live there. These plants require less maintenance because they have adapted to their growing environment, such as the temperature, seasons, availability of water and the soil characteristics and components.
Native plants are better able to fend off pests and disease that are also native to the area. Native wildlife thrives on these plants as well because they have formed an interdependent relationship over thousands of years. For example, the monarch caterpillar is a specialist and can only eat the leaves of a milkweed plant. When milkweed is removed from fields and gardens or replaced with non-native plants, then the monarch caterpillar will not have anything to eat because the insect is unable to change its diet in a short period of time.
While wildlife may collect pollen and drink nectar from non-native plants, these plants provide insufficient nutrients and resources to sustain native wildlife. By incorporating native plants in your garden, you will be supporting the animals, insects and other plants that have evolved together to form habitats and ecosystems found in your region. Furthermore, you will be enhancing the landscape with natural beauty, and providing the correct food for wildlife, and supporting ecological functions that ensure our water is pure and the air is clean.
Did you know you can have your native plant garden become a Certified Wildlife Habitat? Click HERE to find out how each Certified Wildlife Habitat is a step toward replenishing resources for wildlife locally and along their migratory journey.