Before You Start
Planting a Native Garden
Copyright 2012
Otsego Conservation District
800 Livingston Blvd., Ste. 4A, Gaylord, MI 49735
(989) 732-4021 / posburn@otsegocountymi.gov / Facebook
Sun vs. Shade
Are you planting in a wetland or a dry area? Some plants can tolerate it being damp, but not soaked, while others specifically require very dry, sandy soil. There are 5 basic levels of moisture: Wet, Medium Wet, Mesic (middle), Medium Dry, and Dry. Determine your site characteristics before choosing a plant.
Wet vs. Dry
How much sun will your garden get? Although some native wildflowers, such as the woodland sunflower, are shade tolerant, many need at least a couple hours of sun each day. Others, such as swamp milkweed, cannot tolderate the shade at all.
There are many things you should consider when planting a native garden. What follows are some of the more important considerations.
Riparian Gardens
Are you planting a buffer strip on a lakeshore or stream bank?

There are many advantages to abandoning a mown lawn on water's edge. Native plants provide wildlife habitat and help filter contaminants from water leaving your property and entering a stream or lake. In addition, their deep root systems minimize erosion.

Plus, you'll never have to mow again!
Riparian Gardens
Do you want to attract butterflies, pollinators, or natural enemies of garden pests? Some plants are better than others at providing this function and the OCD has information to help you decide!
Aesthetics
When will your flowers bloom and what colors will they be?
Keep Learning!
Still need to know more? Click on "Types of Native Gardens" to learn about a wide assortment of garden types, or download the Native Plant Catalog to learn about the individual flowers including all the considerations on this page!