|Prairie landscapes may need to be burned to maintain desired species mix.
Photo credit: lydanynom CC BY-NC_SA 2.0
Naturalistic native desert plantings reflect the surrounding desert landscape at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
Native water wise landscapes include plants that have adapted over a long period of time to a local climate and conditions of the area or region where they will be used. In other words, these plants were originally found growing in the landscape at the time of European settlement.
Some of these plants may be adapted to very specialized locations with specific requirements for plant survival and growth. Other native plants may be broadly adapted to a larger region.
In general, native landscapes require less maintenance than those using commonly introduced landscape plants. Native turf grasses can replace areas of lawn that are not frequently used.
Iowa - References and Resources for Prairies and Native Plantings
Minnesota - Establishing and Maintaining a Prairie Garden
USDA NRCS - Native Grasses for Prairie Landscaping in the Northern Great Plain
Native woodland landscapes may be among the easiest native landscape to maintain. Occasional thinning and removal of dead tree branches and vines may be needed. Note, however, that dead material can provide nesting sites for birds and pollinator insects. Dead material also plays an important role in woodland nutrient cycling.