Native and adapted plants for the Gulf Coast

There are so many beautiful native plants along the Gulf Coast. They were here before humans set foot on this continent. Most of them need little or no care, can exist on rainfall alone, and have adjusted to our heat. They help enrich the soil and also help bring air and water down into ground, help to foster beneficial microbes and, in general, help other plants grow.

Our native pollinators prefer native plants. The monarch butterfly, for instance, will lay her eggs only on native milkweed. The hatched larvae will then eat the leaves of the milkweed to, form chrysalises, and emerge 10-14 days later as another monarch.

Most perennial natives can be planted from seed and will come back year after year. Some bloom most of the winter. Some bloom in the dog days of August. Many gardeners have mixed the natives and adapted non- natives, making wonderful colors and shapes in their landscape.

Still others are making “pocket prairies” of native lants

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