Tired of just the ordinary grey squirrel and robin in your yard? Planting native species can help diversify the amount of wildlife you see. Below are some tips and names of native species that will help your garden attract a variety of bees, butterflies, birds, and more!
Aquatic wildlife- Shoreline restorations can provide essential habitat for aquatic life, including fish. They are attracted to the transitional and emergent vegetation for food, shelter, and spawning grounds. Frogs and turtles also use these plants for their homes. Waterfowl like ducks and herons are commonly spotted in restorations, using the plants for nesting and to find food. Emergent plants you can add to your shoreline include Blue Flag Iris, Sweet Flag, Arrowhead, Bur-Reed, Lake Sedge, and Hard or Softstem Bulrush.
Hummingbirds- These tiny creatures need to consume over half of their bodyweight in sugar every day to survive! Help them out by planting native plants that produce large amounts of nectar including Obedient Plant, Butterfly weed, Blue Giant Hyssop, and Wild Bergamot. Species like Foxglove Beardtongue, Columbine, and Cardinal Flower have adapted their flowers specifically for hummingbird's long tongues to be able to feed on their nectar. Plant these and you can sit back and watch the little guys zip around your restoration!
Bees and Butterflies- Monarch populations have recently dropped in large numbers presumably because of herbicide uses depleting Milkweed habitat. Planting various species of Milkweed for larval stages and other natives for the adult's food can help restore their populations in Minnesota. Other beautiful native plants both bees and butterflies use for nectar sources are Purple Prairie Clover, Liatris species, Blue Vervain, Aster species, Blue Lobelia, Joe Pye Weed, Turtlehead, and many more.
You can see that some plants attract birds as well as bees and butterflies, going a long way to provide food and habitat for multiple wildlife species. Just remember, plant a variety of plants with different bloom colors, blooming periods, and heights to create a diverse habitat for multiple wildlife species. If you have more questions about attracting wildlife, visit our website at naturalshore.com or come in to our retail nursery where our experienced staff can help you find plants to attract wildlife to your area!
Click Here to read a recent Star Tribune article about helping pollinators by planting native species!