You can help your homeowners association transition to native plants. Here’s what HOAs need to know about native plants and pollinator gardens …

1) They are a beautiful addition to the landscape.

Pollinator gardens are comprised of native plant species, which have a wildness to them. But that doesn’t mean they need to look weedy! With a little planning, they look as abundant and untamed as an English cottage garden. Add in some butterflies and hummingbirds and you have quite the show!

2) They cost less to maintain.

According to the EPA’s Greenscaping guide, “The combined costs of installation and maintenance for a natural landscape over a ten-year period may be one-fifth of the costs for conventional landscape maintenance.” This is because, once established, native plants require far less watering and mowing than turf grass.

3) They stabilize the soil and reduce storm water runoff.

Native species have longer roots, which means they can stabilize soil better than non-native plants. If you have hills or slopes to landscape, native species are your best bet. Conventional turf grass lawns also cannot absorb anywhere near as much runoff as a native landscape.

4) They can handle droughts better.

Yet another benefit of those long roots is that they help native plants survive droughts better. Whereas non-native flower species may have roots only two to three feet deep, native species’ roots can be six feet deep and more.

5) They create tranquil community spaces.

All gardens are peaceful, but a pollinator garden that brims with life is something special. The birdsong and buzzing of bees makes a much-needed retreat for everyone in the community.

6) They can be made into privacy screens.

You don’t need boxwood to make a living privacy screen. Native species can provide that same benefit while also supporting pollinators. No matter your region, there are numerous native plants that can create the screen you are looking for.

7) They are pesticide free by design, which is healthier for everyone, especially children and pets.

The chemicals commonly sprayed on turf grass all run into the groundwater. They get on pets and children as they play in the yard or wander into a neighboring lawn that was recently sprayed. The same is true for pesticides – they drift well beyond their application site. With pollinator gardens, you reduce – and frequently can completely eliminate – the need for these chemicals, which is better off for everyone!

Photo by Marcus Neto on Unsplash