The plant in the green house seemed ideal for our property. It had pretty variegated leaves and was the right height to cover that unsightly gas meter. Didn’t need a lot of maintenance nor full sun. Wouldn’t have to water it. “Look at those flowers in the picture – I’ll bet we’ll see lots of butterflies in our yard”, I commented.
My impulse on the green house plant may not have been a good idea. Learn why on August 19 at Blue Spruce Park Pavilion #1 at 6 pm. Ellen Yerger will explain why when she discusses “The benefits of avoiding invasive plants in your home landscaping” Dr. Yerger teaches in the biology department at IUP.
Nonnative (introduced) plants add little value to wildlife conservation. Butterflies and other insects may not have liked the flowers on the greenhouse plant I was looking at. Other wildlife may not like it either. Birds, small mammals, amphibians, and reptiles are very selective. They will feed on, nest in or pollinate some plants and not others. Specifically wildlife tends to avoid plants that are not native to the area – they like what they are used to. Just like humans like food cooked the way it was when they were growing up.
What’s worse my greenhouse plant could spread to other locations in my yard or my neighbor’s yard. It’s called “invasive” and sometimes these plants take over a natural area and become very hard to control. In some cases the invasive crowds out the native plants that the wildlife depend on.
Many homeowners like to see a variety of birds in their yards. Birds eat insects and the insects won’t feed on nonnative plants.
The program on native- nonnative plants is open to the public. Dr. Yerger will discuss natural landscaping at Blue Spruce Pavilion 1 on Friday August 19 beginning at 6 pm