Native Texas Plants
Benefits of Using Native Plants in Your Yard
Using plants that are native or adapted to the Irving area promotes a beautiful yard year-round while conserving water. Native plants require less water, an important detail in North Texas, where droughts are a reality.
- It is less expensive to prevent storm water runoff pollution than to remove it. If concentrations of pesticides and fertilizers in runoff continue to increase, costly options to treat runoff will be necessary and will result in higher local taxes.
- Native plants can reduce your water bill. During warm weather, 40 to 60 percent of your bill is a result of outdoor water use.
- Native plants invite native regional animals to visit your garden. Your yard can become a tranquil setting to watch and learn about birds and butterflies.
- Native plants require less fertilizer and fewer pesticides. Fertilizer is most often applied in the spring and fall, when Texas receives significant rainfall. As a result, a high percentage of the fertilizer never reaches the targeted plants, and instead becomes storm water runoff that washes down the storm water drains and eventually enters the waterways. Significant quantities of fertilizer and pesticides in rivers and lakes can make the water unsuitable for recreation and wildlife.
Find helpful information about native plants in Irving's Guide to Using Native Texas Plants (PDF), available at all recreation centers.
Process to Creating a Native Plant Yard
Use plants that can accommodate your exiting soil, moisture conditions and sun exposure, as well as how you use your yard. For example, during the planning stage, you can take steps to reduce watering by grouping plants with similar water needs together. You can decrease mowing time by replacing turf grass with a different ground cover in areas that don’t experience a lot of foot traffic.
Use native and adaptive plants. This vegetation is native to the area and has evolved to thrive in the North Central Texas environment. The soil naturally contains many of the nutrients native plants need. Hot and dry summer conditions do not overly stress these drought-tolerant plants, and many have their own defense mechanisms to fight off local diseases and pests.
The qualities of native and adaptive plants significantly reduce the need for fertilizers, pesticides, and water - changing the way you care for your yard. This not only saves you time and money, but it protects local streams, rivers, and the overall environment.
- Check your sprinkler system and keep it in good condition. Repair broken heads or pipes before operating.
- Don’t water during the heat of the day. It is best to water between 6 p.m. to 10 a.m., thus eliminating excessive evaporation.
- Don’t water plants every day, as this contributes to shallow roots and makes plants vulnerable to drought. It is better to water less often for longer periods of time.
- Use a rain and freeze sensor. These devices will turn off the sprinklers during rain and freeze events, thus eliminating water waste or ice accumulation.