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April marks Mississippi Native Plant Month

Throughout April, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce will be sharing educational information through promotional channels to inform and encourage the public to utilize native plants.

“The drought took a toll on many Mississippians’ plants – both on farms and in Mississippian’s yards – this past year. This Native Plant Month, consider the benefits of utilizing native plant species in landscaping as they occur naturally and thrive in our environment,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson. “These plant species also typically do not require as much fertilizer, insect and disease control, or watering as non-native plants growing in the same area, making them a resilient and hearty choice for garden beds or yards.”

Mississippi is home to more than 2,700 native plant species which include trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and wildflowers. These native plants flourish in the state’s soils, wetlands, temperatures, precipitation, and environmental conditions, making them essential for conserving and protecting our environment. Mississippi native plants are specific to our state; they occur naturally and thrive in our distinct ecosystems and environment. This makes them a low-maintenance, cost-effective option for your garden or yard.

In March 2023, Gov. Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2137 into law, Miss. Code Ann. § 3-3-69, designating April as “Mississippi Native Plant Month” to preserve the heritage and the importance of native plants for clean air, water, and soil stability in the State of Mississippi. During the month of April, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce educates citizens about the importance and history of Mississippi’s native plants and the many benefits they provide to pollinators and to preserve Mississippi’s biological heritage in aiding in the prevention of flooding and erosion and maintaining and preserving the health of Mississippi’s economy and environment.

Many native plants can be found at local nurseries. Find nurseries near you by visiting MDAC’s Directory of Mississippi Certified Nurseries and Nursery Dealers or GenuineMS.com.

To learn more about native plants in Mississippi and their benefits for supporting the state’s ecosystems, visit MDAC’s Mississippi Native Plant Month website.