Cuckoo Bee. Photo: Ed Spevak

Natives for Pollinators

Citizens in the lower Midwest and beyond are concerned about the dramatic drop in pollinator populations. Caterpillars need native plants for food (host plants). Adult pollinators, including butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, and beetles need pollen and/or nectar sources throughout their lives. The information below will help you attract and sustain pollinators on your farm, at your home, and in your community.


Start with the Grow Native! Top-10 Lists for Pollinators or our new Pollinator Garden Menu Card

Buy Native Plants
Start Your School Pollinator Garden with Grow Native!

Grow Native! and Greenscape Gardens team up to bring you a fun guide through the basics of butterfly gardening! Learn about host plants, nectar and pollen sources, and how to have bug friends all season long. Watch the video here.


Learn About Host plants
stem-nesting bee graphic

Graphic courtesy of Heather Holm

Learn more about native plant benefits to pollinators

These Missouri Prairie Journal articles get in-depth on how native plants sustain vibrant habitats for native bees, butterflies, moths and other insects:

Prairie Paparazzi: Documenting the Regal Fritillary, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2017
Grow Native!: Gardening for Bumble Bees, Vol. 37, No. 3 & 4, 2016
Prairie Moths, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2016
Missouri Gets Moving for Monarchs, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2015
Native Bee-Plant Relationships on Missouri Prairies, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2015
MPF Prairie Bee Survey, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2015
How Good are Plant Pollinator Hosts?, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2009
Prairie Odonates: Dragonflies and Damselflies of our Grasslands, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2014
Prairie Planthoppers: An Interview with Dr. Stephen W. Wilson, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2013
Saving Endangered Beetle Species, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2012
Cantrell: The Milkweed Connection Part One – Establishing an Outdoor Learning Station, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2012
Cantrell: The Milkweed Connection Part Two – Using an Outdoor Learning Station, Vol 33, No. 2, 2012
Cantrell: The Milkweed Connection Part Three – Advancing the Conservation Efforts of a Species with an Outdoor Learning Station, Vol 33, No. 3, 2012
Beyond the Bees: Entomologist’s Insect Collection of Prairie Visitors, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2011
More Than Bees, If You Please! A Primer to Prairie Wildflower Visitor Ecology, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2011
Cantrell: Fishing for Pink Katydids, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2011
Missouri Biologist Discovers Two Prairie Bees New to Science, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2011
Special Package Delivery: Milkweed Pollination, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2010
Meet the Bees: Native Bee Pollination and Prairie Ecosystem Health, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2010
What is a Prairie Without Native Bees?, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2010
Plant-Pollinator Interactions on Prairies and Glades: Implications for Endemism, Vol. 30, No. 3 & 4, 2009
Missouri’s Rare Prairie Butterflies, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2007
Macroinvertebrate Communities in Missouri Prairie Streams, Vol. 38, No. 3 & 4, 2017
Grasshoppers, Glades, and Ecological Gradients, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2018
Native Landscaping for Skippers, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2018
Fantastic Moths and their Woody Host Plants, Vol. 39, No. 3-4, 2018
Thankful for Flies in the Garden, Vol. 39, No. 2, 2018
Study: Report on bees found at Golden and Stilwell Prairies, 2014

Grow native! Plant Tags

Monarch Café and Pollinator Buffet are a series of specialty Grow Native! plant tags to help market the ecological services of natives that are especially important to monarch butterflies and many insect pollinators.

Download PDFs of our Pollinator Buffet and Monarch Café cards!


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