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Why plant native plants?

Save the birds of Northern Virginia!

Baby songbirds eat only insects, not seeds. And most insects can only eat native plants.

Save the butterflies in your own yard!

Adult butterflies sip nectar from a wide variety of flowers, but their caterpillars almost always require the native plants with which they evolved. Many of our native bees also require specific native plants for their food.

Save the rest of the living world!

Our entire ecosystem depends on native plants, which are being excluded in agricultural and urban areas. It is in our suburban areas—right here in Northern Virginia—that we have personal control of our properties and can use them to reverse the declines of pollinators, fireflies, bats, frogs, etc.—the entire more-than-human world that surrounds us.

Support clean water!

Rain water should be filtered through the ground before it reaches our streams. Lawns made of turf grass—which comes from Europe—create a nearly impervious surface that leads to uncontrolled run-off into our sewers, and flooding and erosion of our streams. Native trees and other plants capture that rainwater and prevent sediment and pollutants from destroying the Chesapeake Bay.

A two minute video that explains it all!

Native plants...


  • Need no fertilizer

  • Need no extra watering
    (once established)

  • Need no pesticides

  • Need no lawn-mowing!

Monarch on smooth dogwood.jpg

Find native plants for sale at conventional and specialty garden centers.

What is a native plant?

A plant is native to our environment if it evolved within the local food web and has the intricate relationships with animals and other plants that this implies. Evolution takes a really, really long time. Our local insects have not had time to evolve ways to overcome the chemical defenses of plants that have been introduced since the arrival of Europeans.

Want to see some of the scientific evidence?


Learn more here

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