Wildlife Research, Monitoring & Mentoring

5 Common Misconceptions About Native Plants


I don’t know about you, but the conversations I am having these days seem to be turning more and more to the subject of native plants and why people don’t plant them. How can that be? Native plants are bold, beautiful, resilient, inclusive, and they form the fabric of the world we live in. So, today I am here to dispel five common misconceptions that keep people from going native.

  • Misconception #1: Native plants are messy or “weedy.” Native plants come all forms: ground covers, tall grasses, flowering perennials and fruiting shrubs that offer just as much beauty and choices as non-native species. While some native plants can look more unkempt than others, this is an aesthetic that embraces nature’s palette and allows wildlife to flourish.
  • Misconception #2: Native plants will take over your yard. Not so. Natives coexist in harmonious ecological balance within the regions they have evolved. Conversely, plants from other parts of the world often spread rampantly when they are free of their natural checks and balances.
  • Misconception #3: Native plants bring in undesirable bugs/ticks. While native plants do attract insects, many of these insects are beneficial pollinators and predators that help control pest populations. By creating a balanced ecosystem, native plants can actually reduce the need for chemical pest control.
  • Misconception #4: Native plants require extra work. Contrary to popular opinion, native plants require less work than their imported counterparts. Since they flourish naturally in their environment, native plants are known for being low-maintenance.
  • Misconception #5: It is too hard to find native plants for purchase. While this has been the case, sources of native plants are now becoming more & more common and are increasingly being found in mainstream nurseries.

What keeps you from trying out planting a few natives? Would you like to learn more about how you can increase biodiversity in your yard? Sign up for a free consultation from Natural Neighbors by visiting our webpage and filling out the short survey form at the bottom of the page, linked HERE

Have you already had a site visit from Natural Neighbors and started making changes to enhance biodiversity on your property?


We are happy to announce that we have a brand-new yard sign that we will be giving to Natural Neighbors participants who have implemented three of the actions we recommended in our site visit report! And if you haven’t quite gotten around to it yet, we would be happy to help you get there. Contact us today!



<a href="https://biodiversityworksmv.org/author/rcouse/" target="_self">Rich Couse</a>

Rich Couse


Rich is a Conservation Biologist and the director of the Natural Neighbors program. He grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts and lives in West Tisbury. Rich has a B.A. from UMASS in English with a minor in Education, a M.C. in Publishing from Emerson College, and an M.S. in Environmental Sciences, Conservation Biology from Antioch University. Profile photo credit: Ray Ewing, MV Magazine

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