Using Michigan native plants to produce win-win situations for agriculture, communities and the environment.

Encourage pollinators and other beneficial insects by planting native plants

Most plants need pollination to reproduce and grow fruit. Without pollinators, we would have little to no fruit, fewer vegetables and many plant species would not survive. Insect predators and parasites, known as natural enemies, help control pest populations in crops and gardens. This biological control and pollination are ecosystem services from native plants. Native plants are pre-adapted to local conditions and naturally support native bees and other beneficial species. Michigan State University entomologists have been testing Michigan native and other plants for these purposes and share their results with you through the recommendations at this website. Find out how to select and grow native plants on your farm, garden or community setting by following the links in our navigation.

MSUE Native Plants News

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Monarch butterfly 2017 update in Michigan

Date: October 5, 2017
By: Douglas Landis

Monarch populations are increasing in Michigan, but they are still low due to factors including milkweed quality and predators. We are interested to hear if you’ve seen organisms preying on monarch eggs and caterpillars.

Garden smarter with Michigan State University Extension programs

Date: August 14, 2017
By: Rebecca Finneran

If you haven’t heard of Michigan State University Extension’s Smart Gardening initiative, its goal is to promote earth friendly and sustainable practices that will save gardeners time, effort and money.

Water gardeners beware: Keep nature and your landscape separate

Date: June 27, 2017
By: Paige Filice

Safely add water features to your yard without adding risks to the environment.

Making your native plant choices for Michigan inland lake shorelines

Date: May 1, 2017
By: Beth Clawson

Protecting water quality means protecting inland lake shorelines from erosion and stormwater runoff. Restoring inland lake shorelines means selecting and planting the shoreline with Michigan native plants.

New landscape shrubs revealed at Smart Gardening Conference

Date: February 17, 2017
By: Rebecca Finneran

Get a sneak peak of the 2017 ColorChoice shrubs to grace your landscape with at the Smart Gardening Conference on March 4 in Grand Rapids.

Debunking garden myths and mulch are popular topics at 2017 Smart Gardening Conference

Date: February 7, 2017
By: Rebecca Finneran

Nationally-known horticulturist and author Linda Chalker-Scott will get to the truth about common gardening myths at March 4 conference in Grand Rapids.

Order native plants for shorelines early

Date: January 26, 2017
By: Beth Clawson

Native plants are grown for local markets. If you are planning a shoreline restoration ordering your plants well in advance of need ensures that the provider will have enough for your needs.

Smart gardening to support monarchs

Date: January 6, 2017
By: Duke Elsner

Support monarchs with a season-long display of flowering trees, shrubs and perennials in your yard. Include milkweed for the caterpillars.

Combing through Michigan’s pollinator planning efforts

Date: November 21, 2016
By: Meghan Milbrath

Why are so many Michigan pollinator planning efforts being developed? Let’s take a closer look at three programs and plans currently forming.

Add common milkweed to your garden and make homeless insects happy

Date: September 28, 2016
By: Gretchen Voyle

Milkweed plants can serve as host to many kinds of interesting insects, and can be grown using seeds of other milkweed plants.

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