When I first started growing native plants, I was in love with the plants. Now I’m equally in love with the native bugs that rely on them for everything. Here are some places you can visit to learn more on how to support pollinators, caterpillars, and all the other overlooked “little spirits.”
Xerces Society—This invertebrate conservation group is an excellent source of information on saving “the little things that run the world.” Check out their publication on pollinator plants for the Great Lakes Region.
National Wildlife Federation Plant Finder—If you want to nurture wildlife and make the most of your limited space, this is the place. Search by ZIP code to find plants that host the highest numbers of butterflies and moths to feed birds and other wildlife where you live.
Native Plant—Insect Interactions Guide—This guide developed by entomologist Heather Holm and published by Prairie Moon Nursery lists many popular native plants and the pollinators that they support. Helpful if you want to target specific pollinators, such as bumblebees or hummingbirds.
Pollinator Partnership—Dedicated to promoting “the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research.” Fine and dandy, but they also have super nifty booklets on how and what to plant for pollinators in your neck of the woods, wherever that might be. In our case, it’s the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province. Who knew?
How to Protect and Increase Pollinators in Your Landscape—This Michigan State University Extension document is free, easy to understand, and comprehensive. Bee nice and check it out.
Planting for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee—Officially endangered, the RPBB can use all the help it can get. If you want to be part of the solution, check out this flipbook and plant some of their favorite native flowers, with blooms from early spring into fall.