Native Plant Information

Five Ways to Get Started

  • Plant perennials, shrubs, and trees that are native to Minnesota. Natives attract insects that nearly all songbirds rely on as their main food source and the only food source for their young.
  • Plant the same type of perennial in groups of at least three.  Pollinators are drawn to the color and bumblebees, in particular, tend to forage on one type of plant at a time. Native perennials provide excellent sources of nectar for hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.
  • Provide a continuous succession of plants that flower from early spring until late fall. This supports pollinators throughout the growing season.
  • Support Monarch butterflies by planting milkweed native to Minnesota, such as Swamp Milkweed, Common Milkweed, and Butterfly Weed. Milkweed is the only thing that Monarch caterpillars eat and the only place where Monarch butterflies lay their eggs.
  • Do not use pesticides! They are indiscriminate and kill butterflies, bees, and the insects that birds eat and feed their young.

Plant Information

     Pollinators of Native Plants ~ PDF files under plant lists & posters. Best pollinator plants

Wild Ones 

Blue Thumb

Prairie Moon Nursery

Minnesota Wildflowers

Landscaping with Native Plants, (DNR)

Note: Several of the growers in the nursery section of this website, have detailed  native plant lists on their sites with pictures and specifications

Planting For Pollinators

Note: Please Do Not Use Chemicals On Your Lawn Or Garden. 

They Can Harm The Creatures You Are Trying To Protect

Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants

Supporting Pollinators

Bee the Change

The Xerces Society

Neighborhood Greening

Pollinator Friendly Alliance

University of Minnesota Bee Lab

Wild Ones~Increase Vegetable Yields by Going Native

Pollinator Partnership

Natural Resources Conservation Services

USDA Forest Service

Planting For Birds

St. Paul Audubon Society ~ Go Native Guide

Audubon Society Native Plants for Birds by Zip Code

Buckthorn: What You Should Know. What You Can Do ~

Note: treating the stumps is controversial.

Digging them up or grinding them is preferable. Herbicides can be harmful for pollinators.


Pollinators of Native Plants  ~ Heather Holm ~ Includes detailed guides of sample gardens

Feed the Monarch ~ Xerces Society

Monarch Butterflies ~ Ann Hobbie

Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide ~ Heather Holms

Searching for Minnesota’s Native Wildflowers ~ Phyllis Root and Kelly Provo

Garden Revolution ~ Larry Weaner

A New Garden Ethic ~ Benjamin Vogt

Native Plants of the Midwest ~ Alan Branhagen

The Midwestern Native Garden ~ Charlotte Adelman

Attracting Native Pollinators ~ The Xerces Society

Feed the Bees ~ The Xerces Society

Gardening for Butterflies ~ The Xerces Society

A Field Guide to the Natural World of the Twin Cities ~ John Moriarty

Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota ~ Lynn Steiner

Befriending Bumble Bees ~ Elaine Evans, Ian Burns, Marla Spivak

 Beautifully Sustainable ~ Douglas Owens-Pike

Birdscaping in the Midwest: A Guide to Gardening with Native Plants to Attract Birds
~ Mariette Nowak

The Backyard Bird- Lovers Guide ~ Jan Mahnken

Monarchs in a Changing World ~ Karen Oberhauser

Moths & Caterpillars of the North Woods ~ Jim Sogaard

A Lawn Chair Gardener’s Guide to a Balanced Life ~ Dawn Pape

Midwestern Birds: Backyard Guide ~ Bill Thompson

Landscaping for Wildlife ~ Carrol Henderson

Bringing Nature Home ~ Douglas Tallamy


Featured photo courtesy of Heather Holm