Jordan Blonski
Feb 20, 2020

Why Should You Avoid Monocultures In Your Seattle Yard?

An adequately landscaped lawn is great to look at, although getting the right mix of plants can be a difficult decision. You may be drawn to a specific type of plant, and you may be inclined to put it all over your yard.

This practice may be dangerous as having a lack of biodiversity in your landscape creates what is known as a monoculture. Monocultures can be thought of as too many of the same family of plants in one area.

Why is monoculture dangerous?

They are dangerous mainly because plants from the same family are susceptible to the same pests. Having too many of the same plants in one area can allow a pest to flourish, where if you only had a couple of these plants mixed in with other plants (that are not desirable to the same pests), you would not have a pest problem.  Keep in mind that pests can range from insects to viruses and bacteria.

Decrease risk of common pests

Here in the Pacific Northwest, many people grow rhododendrons.  They are beautiful, easy to grow plants with prolific blooms although often, I see too many of them planted in the same area.

This leads to infestations of pests like root weevils that chew the leaves resulting in large holes and deformed growth. Also, they are susceptible to azalea leafhoppers, which suck sugars from the leaves, turning them blotchy and yellow. Both issues can be easily avoided with a little biodiversity.

Make your landscape exciting

Monocultures can also make your landscape drab. While a plant may have outstanding blooms or foliage, if your yard is only comprised of that plant, you will only get that bloom or foliage for a short part of the year.   

You’ll spend the rest of the year missing those flowers, but diversifying will give your landscape more character. When planting a variety, you can choose plants that bloom at different times so if you plan carefully, you could have color for all or most of the year.

Eastside Tree Works encourages Seattle, Eastside, Snohomish and North Bend area homeowners to make environmentally friendly choices when it comes to their landscaping.  

Keeping plants healthy and strong is often the best way to ward off pests and other problems. Contact us for your free estimate on any of our tree services.