Shoreview Natives plants for pollinators

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Shoreview Natives plants more than 80 species of flowers, grasses, trees, and shrubs that are native to northeast Minnesota.

Dan Schutte has been in business since 2015.

“Our wheelhouse would be taking turf grass lawns and transitioning those into pollinator gardens or butterfly gardens,” he said.

His background is in biology and environmental science, and he also worked in natural resource administration. But his love for native plants was sparked when teaching environmental science to second graders.

“We started growing native plants with second graders in their classroom. And they just grew well, and pretty soon we had hundreds of plants, and I got really excited about it and started doing that at home,” Schutte said. “And it’s just gotten a little bit bigger every year. I just can’t get enough of it.”

His greenhouse in Two Harbors is filled with plants like False Indigo, Fowl Manna Grass, Blazing Star Liatris, and even White Pine seedlings.

“This is the swamp thistle,” Schutte pointed to a weed-like plant, “which is funny to try to sell this to the public, but it’s a good example of a native plant that a lot of people aren’t familiar with that actually has a lot of benefits. If you talk to people that are really into insects, they service a wide variety of pollinators. And they’re kind of cute and funky in the middle of a garden.”

In a nearby yard that Shoreview Natives planted in 2019, some of the plants are nearing 5 feet tall. Schutte says native species can work in any space.

“A lot of times if someone wants a pollinator garden and we go to their site, we look for problems we can solve,” he said. “So if there’s a hillside that’s difficult or dangerous to mow, that’s a low-hanging fruit. If there’s a sump pump discharge that keeps that area wet and muddy, that’s another low-hanging fruit.”

He plants native gardens in both private and commercial spaces. And he says they’re a fairly low-maintenance option with some weeding over the first year after planting and then just clearing dead thatch when the snow melts each spring.

His reason keeps him planting.

“They’re all good for the pollinators: the birds, the butterflies, and the bees.”

Learn more about Shoreview Natives on their website.