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?
- They flourish without fertilizers or synthetic pesticides and rarely need watering,
- provide food and habitat for wildlife,
- contribute to biodiversity,
- connect us to our home places and help us celebrate the things that make our regions unique,
- teach us about the world of nature,
- And last, but not least, they’re beautiful!
Selecting plant species from within your geographical region or ecoregion is the best way to select plant species.
- The Importance of Eco-Regions to Native Plantings (PDF)
- Backyard Gardening for Nature by Michelle Kalantari (PDF)
- Native plants for different gardens / landscaping situations by Terry Serres (PDF)
- Native Woody Plants that are Hosts for Native Caterpillars, Moths, and Butterflies (PDF)
- Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants
- Native Plant Gardening Resources by Terry Serres (PDF)
Growing native plants from seed
- How to start native plants from seed, the easy way (PDF)
- In-depth information about how to propagate native plants (PDF)
- Instructions for your container of newly planted seeds (PDF)
- Germination times for native plants (PDF)
Dave Crawford’s Handouts
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: