Five Myths About Indigenous Trees You Should Know Before You Buy

Homeowners in South Africa prefer local plants because they are generally thought to require less maintenance and care. While it is true that indigenous trees are best suited to the environment from which they originate, one should not make the mistake of planting them without doing a little homework. Every plant has a set of needs that must be met for it to flourish – and failure to properly take care of the species in your garden could lead to plants withering or dying.

You may be eager to plant some of the country’s most beloved local greenery in your backyard, but before you do, have a look at our list of the top five myths surrounding growing indigenous trees.

Any Soil Will Do

This is one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding where to plant indigenous trees. Proper, nutrient-rich soil is the foundation for the cultivating process – and without it, you can forget about growing anything. Many people are not even aware that there are several different types of soil, including sand, clay, and silt. Other characteristics to consider is the content of the ground, as well as its pH level. If you are unsure about the type of soil you have in your garden, it is best to consult a professional.

All Local Trees Are Evergreen

Some love the convenience of planting an evergreen sapling – after all, year-round shade and never having to rake up leaves sounds like a dream. Many also assume that “evergreen” and “indigenous” are synonymous. Just because local trees are adapted to our climate does not mean that they all bear leaves, flowers, and fruit all year long.

You Never Have to Water Them

Lack of water is a crisis in South Africa. Homeowners in dry areas try to avoid planting water-guzzling, exotic plants in order to save water. While it is true that alien plants sometimes require more water, it is wrong to assume that indigenous trees need less watering. When replanting a local species, find out how much water is required. Bear in mind that they may need a little more hydration in their first year or so of settling into a new location.

Local Species Flourish Anywhere in The Country

Planting the wrong kind of tree in your garden, especially if the genus comes from a biome vastly different to yours, can create a few problems. The tree may either not survive or become invasive in certain situations. Try to find out about which plants work well with your neighbourhood’s microclimate and make your selection based on research and expert advice.

Indigenous Trees Grow Very Slowly

Once again, no two species are the same. Some local plants do grow slower, but so do some exotic plants. There are many local species to choose from that grow rapidly and reach up to 1,5 metres a year.

Are you still unsure about which tree to introduce to your garden? We at Windy Willows Wholesale Nursery can help you find the perfect one. With our expert staff and a wide variety of plants available, you will have all the help you need in one place. For more information, feel free to contact us today.