Today while browsing I checked the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council’s website and found some very useful information for home gardeners. But first let me tell you why I was looking for it. I saw a post discussing Allan Armitage’s view of native plants over at Garden Rant. To sum it up in three words: diversity is good! In my opinion as long as you don’t invite invasive species to your yard that will take over the country (i.e. kudzu) then having a diverse ecology in your landscape is a good idea.
After reading that post I began to wonder about alternatives for exotic invasive plants. Natives tend to be hardier than exotic plants since they developed in the region and typically are more drought, disease, and pest resistant. While diversity is good there may be some good native alternatives for your landscape. The TNEPPC has some great resources available for free download to people interested in finding alternatives to the exotic and invasive plants many people commonly plant. Here is a pdf document that suggests alternatives to invasive and exotic plants: TNEPPC Native Substitutes. Download a copy and use it as a reference when planning your garden!