Garden Like a Local

Native plants are plants that are natural to a region, and therefore may be better suited for the soils and seasons. They may also provide the best habitat for birds, bees and butterflies natural to their area. However, selecting a plant native to your region will not automatically lower your maintenance chores. Remember that many factors determine the suitability of a plant for a particular location.  Look for native plants that are suited to the growing conditions in your yard. Consult your soil test results, and consider light, moisture, and other site conditions that may impact the plant’s growth.

In the Spotlight: Native Plants to Add to Your Yard

red maple, acer rubrum

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

lady fern, athyrium filix femina

Lady Fern (Athyrium filix femina)

American Beautyberry,  callicarpa americana

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

rose mallow, hibiscus moscheutos

Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)

swamp azalea, rhododendron arborescens

Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron arborescens)

Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea)

Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea)

brown paper yard waste bags

Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes) Image via Kim Counts

 

Garden Like a Local Action Checklist

  1. Protect native plants and trees in your yard.
  2. Choose native plants and trees for your yard.
  3. Avoid heavy traffic or storing equipment under mature trees and shrubs to help preserve established plant communities and prevent soil loss. When doing any construction activities in your yard, protect as much mature native vegetation as possible. Create a “do not disturb” area if necessary. 
  4. Protect your native shoreline plants. Never prune or remove vegetation at the water’s edge without first seeking proper guidelines. 
  5. Where feasible, install a buffer of native plants along your shoreline that is at least 2’ wide. 
  6. Garden like a local! What else can you do that is natural and local to make your yard sustainable? 

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Did you know?

South Carolina is fortunate to have an abundance of water resources in the form of rivers, lakes, ponds, and estuaries. By maintaining a buffer zone of native vegetation along your shoreline, you can prevent shoreline erosion, protect water quality, and attract native aquatic wildlife.

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Tip:

Consider preserving or emphasizing other unique aspects of your yard, such as any historical or cultural elements.

Additional Resources:

HGIC 1717 Plants that Tolerate Drought

Shorescaping Freshwater Shorelines

Life at the Water’s Edge” Manual

SC Native Plant Society

Carolina Yards Scorecard