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Invasive vs Native Plants in the Gills Creek Watershed

 

Invasive plants harm the watershed. Replace them with or use native plants. Natives support wildlife and a healthy ecosystem.

Native plants have adapted over time to the environment in which they grow—everything from soil type to micro-climates, to hydrology, to human influence. This is why native plants survive so well with little human help—they have naturally adapted to the specific growing conditions of their area—they evolved for survival! They also play a critical role in their ecosystem—they do a better job at supporting pollinators, such as honey bees and butterflies, as well as local wildlife, including birds, amphibians, mammals, and reptiles.

Invasive plants have usually either been introduced by humans, either on purpose or on accident. Because they have so few natural predators or pressures in their new homes, they can easily take over, disrupting their new ecosystem. Invasives plants can overtake native plants (think kudzu and English ivy, for instance), and as a result they can limit or eliminate food for animals and pollinators alike. Invasives plants can also alter the soil by absorbing nutrients native plants require, making it even more difficult for native plants to survive and thrive.

Fortunately, as stewards of Gills Creek Watershed, we have bountiful options of beautiful native trees, perennials, shrubs, vines, and other ground covers to plant in our yards!

 

Support Local Businesses - Get Your Native Plants at Local Garden Centers:

Southern Vistas - 2825 Commerce Dr, Columbia, SC 29205

Gardener's Outpost - 709 Woodrow St, Columbia, SC 29205

Forest Lake Gardens - 5210 Trenholm Rd, Columbia, SC 29206

Cooper's Nursery - 8244 Parklane Rd, Columbia, SC 29223

Millcreek Greenhouses - 2324 Leesburg Rd #3116, Columbia, SC 29209

Woodley's Garden Center - 1067 Woodleys Way, Columbia, SC 29223

Know one we didn't list? Contact us to let us know so we can add it here!

Additional Resources

The SC Native Plant Society: www.scnps.org

The SC Native Plant Society - Invasives: scnps.org/education/invasive-species 

The SC Native Plant Society - Alternatives to Invasives: scnps.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/SCNPS_Alternatives.pdf

The SC Native Plant Society - Best Natives for Wildlife: scnps.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/SCNPS_Wildlife.pdfscnps.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/SCNPS_Wildlife.pdf 

The SC Wildlife Federation: www.scwf.org/native-plants

Audubon's "Native Plan Selector": www.audubon.org/plantsforbirds

SCDNR's List of Noxious Aquatic Weeds: www.dnr.sc.gov/invasiveweeds/program.html

Clemson University's Carolina Yards Plant Database (search by natives using the second button down): clemson.edu/extension/carolinayards/plant-database/

Clemson University's Rain Garden Manual (find a list of some recommended native plants on pages 12 and 13, with a "plant description" including size, growing conditions, etc.): clemson.edu/extension/raingarden

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