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Why Going Native Is the Smartest Thing You Can Do This Fall

As Texas slowly begins its cool-down, many people turn their thoughts toward landscaping in the fall and  winter.  Landscaping is tough work, but there are things you can do to make it easier, and also cheaper. How? Well, you need to go native.   

“Native Plant Week is a week that has been designated to make people more aware of using native plants in their landscape.”

Mary Moses is with Comal County’s Native Plant Society of Texas.

“Using Native Plants makes for a healthier habitat that supports wildlife. Bees…it just makes the earth more healthy.”

And here she puts it most eloquently.

“It makes Texas look like Texas.”

Joking, I said “So if you’re a real Texan it’s your patriotic duty to go native.”

“That’s right, absolutely!” she laughed.

But as to how going native is cheaper, she told me why.

“All of them are going to thrive on a whole lot less water.”

To promote the use of Native Plants they’ve created a program called N.I.C.E. Moses says N.I.C.E. stands for: “Natives Instead of Common Exotics. ”

Exotics are those trees and shrubs native to places far away, not here in South Texas. Moses says the Native Plant Society has prepared information to help people find their way to a more native landscape.

“We actually have a little brochure that explains this but there are a lot of plants you can use instead of exotics that will do the same thing, have the same characteristics, and will be good for the environment.”

To shine the proper light on all this they’ve created Texas Native Plant Week on October 19th through the 25th, and further, Moses explains, they’ve created tags to identify native plants when you shop at nurseries.

“We are placing those tags this month to alert you that you are buying a native.”

I asked her if autumn wasn't a really good time to plant.

“This is a perfect time to plant plants!” she exclaimed.

We’ve more on the N.I.C.E. project here.

Native Plant Society in Comal County here.


Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii