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Planting Native Species in BC

There are many benefits to planting species that are native to BC on your property. Most importantly, you will have peace of mind knowing that you are helping to maintain local biodiversity and habitats. You can also choose plants that will attract birds, butterflies, and bees. Additionally, native species are often low maintenance, as many do not require watering, chemical fertilizers, or special soils, which will save you both time and money. Although it can take up to three years for some native plants to become fully established, they will flourish and thrive with a little patience.

Best Practices

The District of West Vancouver has developed a list of best practices for restoration planting, which includes some of the following tips:

  • Seek the assistance of a person experienced in ecosystem restoration if you are uncertain about any aspect of restoration.

  • Growing conditions vary within the District. It is critical to select ecologically appropriate plant species for the site. Sun exposure and moisture preference are particularly important.

  • Native plants should never be taken from a park or natural area.

  • Plant material should conform to the B.C. Landscape Standards for container grown stock.

  • To increase survival rates, planting is best carried out during cool, moist seasons: late fall to early spring.

  • Avoid soil disturbance.

  • Carry out follow-up monitoring and maintenance multiple times per year until the native plant community has successfully established and invasive plants no longer pose a threat.

The Fraser Valley Conservancy has also developed this useful guide, "Gardening with Native Plants in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley," to help you to create a thriving backyard that supports nature.

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