Native Plants


What is a native plant?

A plant that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem. (USDA definition)

Why garden with native plants?

Native plants were here long before lawnmowers, sprinklers and garden chemicals. They have evolved over thousands of years and, as such, have adapted to local conditions. Once established they are low maintenance and do not require care typically associated with gardens. Native perennials build a strong, deep root system before focusing on the production of leaves, stems and flowers, resulting in plants that are sturdy and drought tolerant.
 
Native plants also benefit us by:
    • providing food and habitat for wildlife,
    • contributing to biodiversity,
    • connecting us to our home places and helping us celebrate the things that make our regions unique,
    • teaching us about the world of nature

And last, but not least, they’re beautiful!

Tips for Native Plant Gardeners

Go to this page to learn about: Matching Your Plants to Your Site, Preparing Your Site, Planting Your Seeds and Seedlings, Maintaining Your Native Garden, Invasive Species

Native Plant Notebook

Go to this page for descriptions and photos of common native plants.  Whenever possible each plant entry lists the caterpillars it is host to, butterflies it supplies nectar to, and the pollinators it attracts.

Lawns to Legumes

The Minnesota State Legislature passed the “Lawns to Legumes” bill in 2019 that provides funding for people to install pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns.

The White Bear Lake Seed Library website has an excellent summary of what’s available and how to apply:

Lawns to Legumes