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Gardener shocked after learning surprising benefits of unsuspecting plant growing wild in their garden: '[It] hasn't become a problem yet'

"I tend to ignore it and let it do its thing."

"I tend to ignore it and let it do its thing."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A gardener was excited to discover the surprising benefits of a native plant growing in their yard. 

After the Redditor shared a photo of the plant, other members of the r/NativePlantGardening community identified the species as black nightshade, which is indigenous to North and South America. 

"It sure does get constantly consumed by wildlife so I leave it," the original poster wrote.

"I was under the impression that it wasn't native for a bit, but I was surprised to learn it is native to my area. And yes, it seems to constantly be eaten by things — I don't know what is eating it but would be very curious to know," another Redditor said.

"It's food for bumbles and a host plant for moths," another user wrote.

"I had a bumble on my tithonia rotundifolia the other day," the OP added in a comment. "Always good seeing them slowly reappear as my natives get older."

Native plants provide many benefits for the surrounding ecosystem, including by attracting pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. Even if a full yard overhaul isn't possible, planting something like clover will also make a positive impact. 

Planting native species is also a great way to save time and money on lawn maintenance. Across the United States, landscape irrigation uses almost 9 billion gallons of water per day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Local species require less watering compared to traditional grass lawns, which in turn will reduce your water bill

Additionally, mowers guzzle 800 million gallons of gas across the U.S. annually. But native species don't need mowing — therefore reducing air pollution from gas-powered lawn equipment. 

"I get a lot of this and I generally let it do its thing. Hasn't become a problem yet!" one Redditor wrote of the nightshade. 

"I used to pull it when my kids were little but now I tend to ignore it and let it do its thing. Only really an issue to people if they eat the berries," another user commented.

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