Native Plants

A South Minneapolis home with a variety of native plants in its front yard.
A South Minneapolis home with native plant landscaping.

Native plants are plants that originate locally, and that are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. These plants are highly beneficial to native bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife, as these local species depend on native plants to supply the food and habitat they need.

In Minnesota, native plants are also important because they have deep roots that break up compacted soil and allow more stormwater runoff to infiltrate into the ground. Because they’re better than non-native plants at soaking up stormwater, these plants are also more tolerant of drought conditions. Native plants can provide an attractive and cost-effective alternative to traditional lawns and landscapes that also benefits the environment. They typically require less water and fertilizer, and are more resistant to pests and diseases than non-native plants.

The MWMO’s Stormwater Park and Learning Center is an example of a site that has been landscaped with native plants. Many, if not most, MWMO projects utilize native plants where new landscape designs are needed. Native plants are also an ideal choice for rain gardens.

Learn More

Landscaping with Native Plants — Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
How to Use Native Plants for Landscaping and Restoration in Minnesota
(PDF) — Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
The Best Plants for 30 Tough Sites — University of Minnesota Extension Service
Planting for Pollinators (PDF) – Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
Minnesota Native Intelligence

Plant Selectors

Blue Thumb Plant Finder
University of Minnesota Extension
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Madison Gas and Electric

Native Plant Growers

Ready to plant some native perennials? We curated a list of Minnesota (and nearby) growers and retailers who offer native plants. Email us at if you know of any we should add to the list!

Special thanks to Beth Brombach.

You might also want to check out the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ own list of native plant suppliers.

Annual Plant Sales

Hennepin County Master Gardeners
Anoka County Master Gardeners
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Wild Ones