Why remove the non-native? Non-natives are normally high maintenance. It is mostly the local plants that are considered known food for consumption of the local animals and insects. As a source for food consumption, their numbers would generally dwindle down while the non-native plants occupy and compete with the space and resources that are meant to be for the local plants. The diseases that the local plants are prone to will also cause these natives to decrease more in number while the invasive non-native plants, being immune to local plant diseases, continue to grow. Eventually, the native plants have been suffocated by the non-native and invasive plants. With the presence of only non-natives in the habitat, the animals and insects would no longer find food familiar to them. One example is that if the bees cannot find flower that they are familiar with, they will go to another habitat, or another place that is suitable for them, having food and a safe habitat. With the drought-stricken city or even state, the residents are to be aware of the benefits of planting natives. These plants are normally acclimated to the weather and can be low maintenance in terms of water and heat resistant to sun exposure.
Another native plant that is perfectly suited to San Antonio weather is the Texas sage, and oleander. These do not require much water and are considered a sub-tropical shrub. These plants work best in USDA zones 8-10. They can be in full bloom amidst the triple digits weather most of the time.
When we choose native plants, we conserve our precious water so that it can be used for some other purposes that are critical during the summer season. The local wildlife and birds will also thank you for choosing native plants. This type of plant can also save you time in pampering and checking whether they need fertilizer or some trimming and other maintenance that you would do for a non-native species. Since these plants are known locally, the ecosystem can thrive and flourish according to how nature designed them to be. Given their natural habitat, the plants can adapt to the make-up of the soil, the weather, and other resources that make the plant grow. The animals and insects can also find their local sources of food, without going further. With local consumers, and local producers in the natural habitat, we cooperate with the nature to have healthy and bio-diverse eco-system.
Check out this interesting and cool music by Hila the Earth who invites all to get the native plants on the map: Hila the Earth - Native Plants (Let's Get Them on the MAP!) (vimeo.com)
Learn more about native plants by checking the npsot.org website: Why Native Plants? - Native Plant Society of Texas (npsot.org)
Check out out events and survey to serve you better: Justicia, Paz y Tierra / Justice, Peace and Earth: Common Home (saccvi.blogspot.com)
Happy Season of Creation! Let's make nature thrive.