Exotic Plant Information

Overview

Exotic plants are often introduced to garden spaces by gardeners with a flair for design. Depending on environmental conditions, some are easy to grow, while others may need special attention.

Benefits

Exotic plants can add curb appeal to a property while at the same time giving the gardener a challenge to improve his expertise. Some exotic plants are hospitable to beneficial insects to the garden that would not otherwise be attracted.

Definition

According to the U.S. National Parks Service, any plant introduced to an area because of human interference is considered an exotic plant.

Considerations

An exotic plant provided with the proper nutrients and environmental conditions can thrive and reproduce so successfully that it can overgrow the intended space. Left unchecked, this growth can rob other valuable plants of room to grow and nutrients.

Problems

Exotic plants often cannot adapt to new growing environments. Problems with soil drainage, nutrients, moisture requirements and protection from climate and native predators may need human intervention for the exotic plant to survive.

Warnings

Many exotic plants can become invasive, choking out native plants to the point of extinction. This can cause problems for ecosystems, leading to imbalances in insect populations and erosion dangers.

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Controlling Invasive Exotic Plants in North Florida Forests
  • National Park Service: Exotic Plants
Keywords: exotic plants, exotic garden plants, growing exotic plants

About this Author

Patrice Campbell, a graduate of Skagit Valley College, has more than 20 years of writing experience including working as a news reporter and features writer for the Florence Mining News and the Wild Rivers Guide, contributing writer for Suite 101 and Helium, and promotional writing for various businesses and charities.