Awareness, Practice and Perception of General Public using Native Plants for Landscaping: A Case Study from Diyatha Flower Market


  • Wijetunga A.D.M.A.K.
  • Yakandawala K.
  • Ranasinghe L.M.M.
  • Udayanga N.W.B.A.L.



A native plant is a species indigenous to a given region or ecosystem hence occurring naturally in a
given area. The contribution attired by native plants ranges from conservational purposes to
aesthetics. At present, landscaping using native plants is a major constituent in sustainable industries,
which is highly popular owing to its capability to improve the ecological significance of the
environment. Even though Sri Lanka has a vast pool of native plants, the tendency towards purchasing
and using native plants are relatively low. Since the lack of knowledge and the small market create a
divergence, exotics are used and maintained unknowingly at the residential level. Therefore, this
study was conducted to assess the consumers’ knowledge, attitude, and practices on using native
plants at Diyatha Flower Market of Sri Lanka. A pre-tested interviewer administrated questionnaire
was used to collect socio-demographic information, knowledge, attitudes and practices of
respondents (n=147) on the usage of native plants in landscaping. Five points Likert scale was used
to rank the attributes and the association between purchasing native plants and demographic factors,
knowledge, attitude, the practice of the respondents was measured by Pearson chi square test.
According to the results, purchasing native plants for landscaping was influenced by several factors;
occupation (p=0.034), practising of landscaping (p=0.003), attitudes (p=0.049) and the respondents’
knowledge (p=0.008) on native plants. Gender, age and educational level did not significantly
correlate to purchasing behaviour, while limited diversity (61.9%), lack of knowledge (51.7%), and
unavailability of native plants in the market (29.9%) were reported as the major causes for not
purchasing native plants. Only 3.4% indicated insect attraction as a reason for purchasing native
plants, implying the lack of interest in wildlife gardening/pollinator conservation concepts in Sri
Lanka. A notably higher percentage of respondents had a moderate level of knowledge (49.6%) on
natives. However, 42% of respondents denote low preference of using natives at the home garden
level through majority of participants showed a highly favorable level of attitudes (91.1%) towards
natives. This proved that people support native plants in general but lack of using the native species
at the residential level. Hence, enhancing the knowledge and attitude of using native plants among
the general public and encouraging research and extension work to popularize native species for
landscaping is recommended.

Keywords: Diyatha flower market, Landscaping, Knowledge, Native plants, Public perception

Author Biographies

Wijetunga A.D.M.A.K.

Department of Horticulture and Landscape Gardening, Wayamba University, Gonawila, Sri Lanka

Yakandawala K.

Department of Horticulture and Landscape Gardening, Wayamba University, Gonawila, Sri Lanka

Ranasinghe L.M.M.

Department of Horticulture and Landscape Gardening, Wayamba University, Gonawila, Sri Lanka

Udayanga N.W.B.A.L.

Department of Biosystems Engineering, Wayamba University, Gonawila, Sri Lanka