While you are planning your spring garden, try adding plants for the pollinators. Having flowering plants near or in your vegetable garden will help to pollinate your plants! Here are a few suggestions.

OUR TOP 5 MINNESOTA NATIVE PICKS:

Milkweeds – These are the only caterpillar food plants of Minnesota’s struggling State Insect, the Monarch butterfly! Milkweeds are also a great nectar source for other pollinators.

Purple Coneflowers – Bright pink, drought tolerant, and attractive to everything!

Black-eyed Susan – Bright yellow, drought tolerant, and an awesome nectar and pollen source for everything!

Meadow Blazing star – This is the preferred plant for Monarch butterflies in late summer and early fall as they load up on energy before migrating to Mexico for the winter. Tall and rich in nectar, it is also loved by other butterflies and hummingbirds.

New England Aster – Bright purple flowers make New England Asters one of the most striking plants of fall. It is loved by almost all pollinators and is a caterpillar host plant for Crescent butterflies.

Janice Hasselius, originally from Aitkin, has been a University of Minnesota Master Gardener since 2000. She regularly volunteers for writing, teaching classes, and demonstrations on gardening subjects through the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

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