The Q&A Archives: What "Naturalizing" Means

Question: Forgive me for sounding like a big dummy, but I really don't know the exact meaning of "naturalizing". We are building a new home that I hope to plant lush, colorful gardens in, so I've been researching plants and bulbs for that purpose. I did look through the library of questions and, while I found many references to naturalizing, I didn't find exactly what it meant.

Answer: Naturalizing means growing along on its own without being coddled at all -- much as something growing wild would do. The plants should be so well suited to their spot that they settle in, grow and reproduce without any help from you! In some cases it can also mean planting in a seemingly artless and natural way -- when bulbs are naturalized they are planted in a random pattern and will theoretically prosper and multiply in place for many years.

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