Native Plants for Wildlife

Bees are typically an insect that we think of as a pest but they are so much more than that.  They are crucial to our well bee-ing and the vitality of our landscaping.  Studies in 2015 showed that 9% of bees and butterflies are facing extinction and we would like to help you save the bees, insects, and all our natural wildlife here in Hampton Roads.  One of the ways we can do that is with Native plants.  With the population in our area growing and natural habitats declining it is time we do our part to preserve the ecosystem.  Join with us and let’s help save the bees and butterflies in our area.

Native plants are those plants that originated in the Hampton Roads area with no human intervention.  They are the life line and structure to supporting our local wild life.  As you drive around the tidewater you see many trees and plants that let you know you are on the Coastal Plain and that salt water is in the air.  While palm trees are great to look at, they don’t scream that you’re in southern Virginia. Instead Magnolias, Cypresses, River Birch, and Dogwood let you know that you are in the greater Virginia Beach area.

In my mind all I can think of as I write this is the lyrics to “Circle of Life” from The Lion King.  It’s true bees, butterflies, and insects are vital to not only the plant life but animal and human life alike.  Give them a year-round food supply and they will give your lawn a ton of interest. Avoid using pesticides and if you have to, use only natural products so not to chase away the native insects that only take what they need to survive.  There are more benefits for you than just helping the bees, native plants require less water and fertilizer thus saving you time and money all while adding beautiful colors and locality to your outdoor space.

      

Photos by Erin Byrd Images

What plants do we recommend? Check out the list below:

Perennials Shrubs Vines Trees

Black-eyed Susan

Milk weed

Sundial Lupine

Boneset

Marsh Marigold

Inkberry, Gallberry

Viburnum

Camelia

Common Elderberry

Virginia Sweet Spire

Winterberry

American Wisteria

Carolina Jasmine

Virginia Creeper

Trumpet Honeysuckle

Climbing Hydrangeas

Eastern Redbud

River Birch

Flowering Dogwood

Sweet Bay Magnolia

Blackgum

Red Maple

Sassafras

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about butterfly gardens make sure to check out the butterfly house at The Norfolk Botanical Gardens.

Check out this link for a more inclusive list of native plants and all their benefits.