Ask an Expert
Frequently Asked Questions about the UTAH'S CHOICE Native Plant Program:
Q: What is the Intermountain Native Plant Growers Association?
A: The Intermountain Native Plant Growers Association (INPGA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2003 and dedicated to increasing awareness of the value of native plants for landscaping, water conservation and habitat improvement. Its goals are to support research and development for the p nursery production of native plants and to create a landscape design standard that reflects an Intermountain Western sense of place.
Q: What is the UTAH'S CHOICE program?
A: The UTAH'S CHOICE program is centered on a list of 42 Intermountain native perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees that are easy to grow and maintain in home landscapes. These plants are available in local nurseries.
Q: Can I save money by planting native plants?
A: You can save money and time by planting native plants in your yard. Native plants need less water and maintenance than traditional garden plants and turf grass. Natives don't need any expensive chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides.
Q: Aren't native plants just a bunch of ugly, weedy desert plants?
A: On the contrary. The Intermountain West holds a vast treasure of plant diversity. Naturalists and plant enthusiasts come from all over the world to see what we have in our own backyard. The region as a whole touts at least 215 endemic (found nowhere else in the world) plant species, and 58 endemic varieties and subspecies. This means that with native plants, we can choose from many colorful wildflowers, flowering shrubs, interesting grasses and hardy trees.
Q: Where can I purchase UTAH'S CHOICE native plants?
A: Throughout the state of Utah there are wholesale growers and retail nurseries offering UTAH'S CHOICE native plants. Follow this link to a list of participating businesses.
Q: How will I know how much water to give my native plants?
A: Water requirements for UTAH'S CHOICE native plants are included on each plant tag and plant sign. This cultural information can also be found in the Utah at Home booklet available in our Store.
Q: Will native plants need a lot of fertilizer?
A: No. Most natives do not appreciate chemical fertilizers at all. They are accustomed to finding all the nutrients they need in Utah's natural soils.
Q: Should I amend my soil with compost or mulch for native plants?
A: You generally don't need to amend your soil for native plants. In fact, most native plants don't like rich soils. You can mulch over the top with wood chips or gravel, but never plastic, which keeps the surface too moist.
Q: I like flowers and color in my yard. Will the UTAH'S CHOICE plants have flowers?
A: There are plenty of UTAH'S CHOICE plants that provide flowers and color! Wildflowers, like Wasatch Penstemon, Gooseberryleaf Globemallow and Sticky Geranium, are just a few examples.