Why choose native plants for your garden and yard?




More than 1/3 of the global food supply depends on pollinators!


Beebalm is a favorite of… you guessed it, bees! The leaves of this plant smell like mint when crushed. 

The food we eat and even some of the clothes we wear depend on pollinators at some point in their production. Utilizing Michigan native plants provides for the needs of native species of pollinators better than non-native plant species – so by planting natives, you will be helping native wildlife who are struggling to compete with invasive species.

Native plants are adapted to the local environment which means they require much less care once they become established. This means less weeding, less watering, and you don’t have to replant year after year. In fact many natives only require care every few years, depending on the species, when large clumps need to be divided into smaller plants to maintain vigor. And just like that, you have more plants for your garden that you didn’t have to buy!

Where do you find native plants in the greater Lansing area?

There are many native plant growers in the Mid-Michigan area. Some grow seedlings, propagate trees, and others provide seed mixes to cover large areas that are being converted back to native habitat. Check out these links to learn more about native growers near you!



Wildtype | Native Plants • Ecological Services | Michigan in Mason sells wildflowers, shrubs, ferns, grasses, and trees.



Michigan Wildflower Farm in Portland is a supplier of seed mixes for converting large areas.



Go Grow Plant Natives LLC in Charlotte is a small grower of native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees.



Prairie Smoke is one of the first flowers to bloom in our pollinator garden at the zoo. 

Pop up sales are often hosted by the Wild Ones Red Cedar Chapter, a local native plant group. You can find the list of sales this spring on their website with up-to-date rescheduled events, precautions for events taking place to maintain social distancing, and any cancelations. These events are held all over Mid-Michigan. Mid-Michigan Native Plant Sales

Some local greenhouses do offer plants that are nearly native to Michigan. They might be of the same species, with seeds and young plants coming from other parts of the Great Lakes region.

Other Places to Look for Native Plants

See the native trees and perennials in the Growing Guides of Van Atta’s Greenhouse and Flower Shop: Growing Guides

Check out the Pollinator Garden tab on Horrock’s garden page for some native species offered for pollinators: Garden | Horrocks



Black-eyed Susans are a common wildflower that bloom for much of the summer.


We’re so excited for our Native Pollinator Garden to be in its’ third year! Want to see where it all started? Check out a blog from 2019: Pollinator Garden – We Have One and You Can Too! Note: this is from 2019, we will not be hosting a conservation talk this year.