Using native plants for your garden space or for landscaping has many benefits; one of the most obvious benefits is that plants thrive in their native environment but may easily wither away in other types of soil or weather. Another benefit is that native plants may attract insects that are helpful for the soil and that will keep the dirt healthy for growth of all your plants. When shopping for native plants for your garden or landscaping, note a few simple, but very important tips to keep in mind.

1. Look beyond the word "native"

The term "native" might be used on plants to increase sales, but it can mean a wide variety of things when it comes to the plant's actual native habitat. For example, a plant might be labeled "native" if it's native to the country in which it's being sold, but most countries have a wide variety of environments that may not be good for all so-called native plants. Adding a plant meant for a tropical area to a dry and arid area will mean vegetation that soon droops and dies away. Look beyond the word "native" and note the actual growing conditions of plants before you make a purchase.

2. Note how your own soil and property may be different than "native" conditions

When an urban area is developed, it's not unusual for an entire layer of topsoil to be dug up, which in turn can make the soil very dry. Shade trees might be planted for their size and appearance, and these can reduce the amount of sunlight that would otherwise reach the soil. Other vegetation may be planted in the area that may drain the soil or otherwise affect it.

All of these things may affect the growth of even native plants. Vegetation meant for bright, sunny areas may not do well under large shade trees, or those that need very moist soil may wither in areas with soil erosion, which is common in urban areas. Again, look beyond the term "native" and note how your own property and its features may have created growing conditions that are not typical of the area.

3. Choose native plants that won't interfere with your property

Some native plants may have very long roots that can wrap themselves around plumbing pipes and buried cable lines. Some may attract insects and birds that you actually don't want on your property; for example, bushes with berries may mean birds and bugs that feed on those berries and, in turn, leave droppings around the landscaping or burrow their way into your home. When choosing native plants, note how they grow and only opt for those that will work for your needs and what you want for your property in particular.

For more information, contact a local plant nursery or landscaping company like Simon The Plantman