Why Plant Indigenous? Indigenous is trendy as there is a worldwide swing towards organics and planting local species. • Indigenous plants (sometime also called native plants) are plants that have evolved over thousands of years in a particular region. They have adapted to the geography, hydrology, and climate of that region. These plants occur in communities, that is, they have evolved together with other plants. As a result, a community of indigenous plants provides habitat for a variety of native wildlife species such as birds and butterflies. South Africa is home to more than 22 000 indigenous seed plants from almost 230 different families. It is also the proud home of 10% of the world’s flowering species, making it a major contributor to the global ecological scene. In our increasingly urbanized world, much of the threat to our native wildlife is through loss of habitat due to clearing for urban development or agriculture. This can be seen as a "death threat" for our native bushland, which has become increasingly fragmented as a result. Even if you live on a small plot, planting a garden will help to stabilize soil, prevent dust and sand blowing into your home, create shade to cool the house and provide a space for animals and plants to live – creating an ecosystem and supporting biodiversity. Why use Indigenous plants? • Indigenous plants do not require excessive fertilizers, pesticides and water and therefore excess fertilizer and pesticides does not find its way into our watercourses. • Indigenous plants help reduce air pollution. • Indigenous plants provide shelter and food for wildlife. Birds act as pest controllers while the garden provides them with feeding, breeding, nesting and roosting. • Indigenous plants promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage and ecosystems. • Indigenous plants save money, are low maintenance and are less likely to take over as there are natural controls. • Indigenous plants provide clean fresh air. • Indigenous plants increase rainfall by releasing water vapour through transpiration.) • Securing our food resources: around one-third of our food comes from plants that rely on native pollinators such as insects! • Indigenous plants are used to develop new medicines, cosmetics and foods so conservation will benefit future generations. • Your indigenous garden will provide joy and entertainment on your doorstep as it’s a delight to see the butterflies, birds and “all creatures great and small” repeating the benefits of you endeavours. • Local is “lekker”.