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Shop: Host Plant Superstars

Greenhouse open by appointment only

  • Plants delivered late May through October. Dates depend on growing conditions. Pickup time is arranged when plants are ready. 

  • Orders filled in order received. Peak season (May) orders may take 4 or more weeks. Please order early for spring planting.

  • All orders subject to availability.

  • Wholesale rates available.

  • Out of Stock? We are growing more. Select the "Notify when in stock" button on the product page to receive an automatic email.

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Quart Pot

A deep 4x4.5" square pot is our standard.  Well-developed roots help the plant establish quickly.  All plants are in a quart pot unless otherwise stated.

Plug Flat

A plastic tray with 38 plants.  Single-species or pre-designed kits. Economically plant larger areas.  5" deep and spaced for optimal crown growth.

Gallon Pots

Large round pots filled with shrubs or mature plants for garden showpieces.

Great Host Plants

There is a new way of thinking about gardening. After centuries of war against insects, which we have nearly won, we have discovered that if there are no insects, there are no birds, nothing to pollinate our food, no fireflies, no butterflies... possibly no us. People are starting to garden for bugs. That means planting native and accepting that bugs grazing on plants is not only normal, but good. Don't worry - healthy plants will weather this insect grazing in stride and your investment will not be lost.


There is a common misconception that a caterpillar will eat whatever leaf it finds. Most caterpillars specialize, eating only certain plants or plant families with which they have evolved. Our native insects, especially butterflies and moths, need their special native plants for their caterpillars. It doesn't matter how much nectar you provide if there is nothing for the caterpillars to eat. A host plant provides food for insects and therefore becomes the base of the food chain, supporting hundreds of amazing species.


Some plants are valuable because they are eaten by many kinds of bugs, which in turn are eaten by many kinds of birds. In the UP, the plants that are used by the most bugs are goldenrods, asters, wild strawberry, and native sunflowers. However, some plants are valuable because they are the only plant a particular bug can eat, like Monarch butterflies whose caterpillars eat only milkweed. While all native plants get eaten by something, and are therefore valuable host plants, the plants on this page are the best. They either host the most insects overall, or they are the host plant for something really great, like Fritillary butterflies or Primrose moths. We even have garden kit collections for the rockstar bugs - Monarchs, butterflies in general, honeybees, and specialist bees.

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