Of course, one good reason is purely economical. Many native plants are easy to propagate from seed–so why pay nursery prices when you can grow free plants yourself? Milkweeds, asters, and mountain mints are just a few natives that can be winter-sown in milk jugs for a bountiful harvest come spring, and others can be direct-sown when the growing season rolls around again.
Even better, native plants grown from locally wild-collected seed (local ecotypes) have evolved to adapt to the conditions of that locale. The particular soil, geography, micro-climate and other factors result in native plants that are uniquely suited to their environs (aka “ecoregion”). This translates into better-performing plants for the gardener. How to get started?
Collect seeds when they’re completely ripe– dry, hard and dark in color. Clean off chaff or other debris and store in paper bags or envelopes (NOT plastic) in a cool, dark spot until completely dry. And unless you need more mystery in your life, remember to clearly label them with name and date!
For more detailed instructions about saving and propagating native seeds, check out this excellent guide from Rutgers University:
Image: Healthy Yards