"It's simple: By gardening with native plants, no matter where you live or how small or large your space is, you can help sustain wildlife." - Doug Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home
Your yard -- and the kinds of plants in it -- matters more than you may know. Native plants play a very important role in providing the food that birds and insects need to survive and thrive in a way that non-native plants do not.
Native plants are those that occur naturally in an area. Maryland, with its diverse geography from Mountain to beach, is home to thousands of native plant species. Our wildlife - including birds - have adapted to the resources provided by Maryland's native plant population.
The current population of native plants is becoming displaced by non-native, exotic and often vigorously growing species. These invasive exotic plants encroach on natural habitats and do not provide the nutrients many birds and insects need to survive.
Why are native plants important?
In a word: insects... Almost all land birds require insects to feed their young. Even seed-eating birds often must feed their babies insects to ensure their survival. Insects cannot adapt to eating non-native plants. Less native plants means less insects, which in turn means fewer bird babies growing to adulthood.