Embracing native plants in your yard won’t just add to its aesthetic value. Your wildlife neighbors will thank you for providing extra food and habitat, like they did for one Redditor who now has a special daily visitor.
In a popular Reddit post, one user shared an adorable video of a box turtle eating blueberries in their yard. The North Florida resident added native plants to their green space and was rewarded for their efforts by gaining a new friend.
They added aronia berry and blueberry plants to their garden and are happy to share them with the local turtles.
“I am amazed at the variety of wildlife native plants will attract,” the Redditor wrote. “This box turtle visits every day to eat blueberries.”
Florida’s subtropical climate is the ideal environment for native plants like blueberries to thrive. Throughout Florida’s dense woods and swamps, you’ll find eight wild blueberry species. There are two types common in the region: Southern highbush and rabbiteye blueberries.
North American box turtles are omnivores and will eat plant- and animal-based food, including fruit, vegetables, flowers, and insects. They prefer fruits, meaning this turtle will especially enjoy the berries growing in this Redditor’s yard.
Providing food and shelter for local wildlife is one of the many benefits of growing native plants. Native plants grow easier than non-native plants imported to the area, requiring less maintenance.
Native plants also need less water and fertilizer, which will offset water consumption from irrigation and prevent chemical runoff from polluting local water sources.
Not only do these native berries provide food for the box turtle, but they also serve as food and shelter for other animals and pollinators. Pollinators like bees and butterflies are essential to the environment and our food supplies, as they help about 75% of the world’s flowering plants and roughly 35% of food crops reproduce.
With so many benefits to homeowners, animals, insects, and the environment, adding native plants to your yard is a no-brainer.
Fellow Redditors enjoyed the video of the turtle and commended the user’s preference for native plants in the comment section.
“Thanks for making a sanctuary for wildlife,” one user wrote.
Another Redditor said, “What a special treat you get to see!”
“He’s so sweet. I have a soft spot for those little guys,” a third added. “Wish I had one who visited my yard!”
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