The Importance of Using Locally Sourced Plants

Dec 9, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. When thinking about adding native plants to our yards, the Ladybird Johnson Wildlife Society and the US Forestry Department both encourage us to find locally sourced plants. They say that locally sourced plants represent specialized ecotypes – a subset within a variety that is adapted to particular environmental conditions – the soils types, the date of the first frost, the rainfall patterns. If you get a plant from the mountains of Kentucky, for example, it may be stressed by the summer nighttime high temperatures and lack of rainfall that might be prevalent where you live. I was looking at the listing for Tilia from Woodlanders in Aiken -- it was sourced from Alabama, not exactly local but closer to home than one from Pennsylvania. The Xerces Society is even trying to find local sources for milkweed seeds and plants for different parts of the country.