In the Garden

It’s All About the Roots!

Choose your plants wisely.

Did you know there are eleven ecosystems in Texas? And that Dallas is a Blackland Prairie? Well, it’s true.

And what grows best in this prairie are deep-rooted native plants.

The fundamental basis for encouraging the use of native plant species in our gardens lies in the fact that native plants have extensive root systems that improve the ability of the soil to penetrate water and withstand wet or corrosive conditions.

Native plant species, like those listed in the guide below, often have greater biomass, i.e., long root systems below the surface. In the illustration, note the turfgrass shown on the very far left which, when compared to native grass and flower species, exhibits a highly shallow root system. The deep roots in our native plants help them survive in this ecoregion more successfully without excess irrigation.

Planting native is one more way to conserve water resources and provide necessary food sources to our native pollinators.

Root system Enhanced E W
Illustration provided by Heidi Natura | Conservation Research Center
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