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Livable Plants for a Healthy Home Landscape

Livable Plants for the Home Landscape

 

In today’s rapidly urbanizing environment, we have a unique opportunity, if not a duty, to create livable landscapes that are attractive, easily managed, and provide a rich compliment of plants to support diverse ecosystems.

Unfortunately, many of our landscapes (natural and planned) are being overrun with invasive plants. This brochure provides plant suggestions that can help gardeners create diverse landscape plantings with native and non-invasive exotic plants.

With the help of human hands, exotic plants – species whose evolutionary history occurred elsewhere – are rapidly replacing native vegetation in natural ecosystems and planned landscapes. Some species are aggressively invasive and disperse rapidly by wind, water and animal transport. Portions of parklands and other natural ecosystems have become near monocultures of individual invasive species such as Norway maple, autumn olive and Japanese honeysuckle. An invasive plant can quickly overwhelm and displace existing native plants by reducing the availability of light, water, nutrients and space. They have few, if any, natural controls to keep them in check. Suburban landscapes are created each year on millions of acres from which native plants have been removed and replaced with a severely limited palette of mostly exotic species.

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UD Cooperative Extension

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