Let's Grow Native!
Why Native Plants?
Native plants are best adapted to the local climate and soil types. Once native plants are established they generally need very little care. Their deep root structures prevent soil erosion, increase soil fertility and moisture-holding capacity, and filter pollution. Native plants will not threaten to take over our natural communities -- unlike some non-natives such as European Buckthorn and Purple Loosestrife.
Native plants provide habitat for butterflies, bees and birds. Growing interest in native plants for rain gardens and pollinators gardens has led to more native plants being offered at local garden centers and native plant markets.
Native Plant Gardens
Every little bit helps when it comes to adding native plants to your property. You could keep it simple by enhancing your existing landscape with some native plants or create a whole new garden with a variety of plants so there's always something blooming. Below are resources to find out which native plants might work in your garden space.
- Minnesota Wildflowers provides a list of what's currently blooming and search tools for identifying plants
- Blue Thumb Plant Finder allows user to enter a set of conditions (light exposure, plant type, bloom time) and creates a list of plants based on these conditions
- List of Native Plant Suppliers & Landscapers from the MN DNR
Thinking big? If you want to convert a large section of your yard into a native planting, such as a prairie, you'll want to plan ahead to make sure you're meeting standards for the City's native plant ordinance, which includes creating and submitting a landscape plan for approval.
Planned well and maintained, a native planting can provide abundant habitat for wildlife and be an attractive feature in the neighborhood. Learn more by checking out these resources:
- Landscaping with Native Plants (DNR) (PDF)
- Going Native - A Prairie Restoration Handbook for Minnesota Landowners (DNR) (PDF)
- Landscaping with Native Plants (DNR)
- Scott County SWCD Tree, Shrub and Native Seed Sale
- Minnesota Native Plant Society
- Minnesota Noxious Weeds
Pollinators such as bees and butterflies play an essential role in the natural environment. Without pollination, many plants cannot produce fruit or seeds. Check out the links below to learn more about creating your own pollinator-friendly oasis:
- Find out which plants support pollinators at the Planting for Pollinators website from the University of Minnesota.
- Learn how to help bees and others from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab.
- Find regional pollinator plants lists at the The Xerces Society website.
- The US Forest Service has great tips for creating a pollinator-friendly landscape around your home.
- Test your knowledge about Monarch Butterflies with the University of Minnesota's Monarch Lab Monarch Quiz.
Native Plant Market on May 18, 2019
The City will host the annual Native Plant Market as a way to encourage people to grow native plants in their yards. In addition to beautifying the community, native plants provide food for pollinators, help improve water quality, and require less care than traditional garden plants. Go to the Native Plant Market page for more details about the event.
For more information about native plants, contact Caleb Ashling via email or at (952) 895-4543.