Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Planting for Pollinators

Every garden needs pollinators and you’ll attract more pollinators to your garden if you keep these things in mind. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds  and other pollinators are looking for three things when they visit your garden: food, water and shelter. Food for pollinators means nectar and pollen. The ideal plants for pollinators will produce flowers with high nectar and pollen content. Flower shape and color are important factors to pollinators. Hummingbirds like brightly colored, tube-shaped flowers. Among hummingbird favorites are Bee Balm, Cardinal Flower, Catmint and Butterfly bushes. Hummingbirds will hang around your garden longer if there are trees and shrubs nearby for them to hide in.  Butterflies can’t hover like bees and hummingbirds.
They need flowers they can land on in order to feed. Butterfly Bush, Phlox, Hyssop, Asters, Mums and Coneflowers are some butterfly favorites.
The ideal plants for bees will produce flowers with high nectar and pollen content.
Nectar feeds the adult bee and pollen is harvested to feed their young. Beyond perennials and shrubs, think about incorporating annuals and herbs into your pollinator garden. Zinnias are bee and butterfly magnets. Plant a nice bed of zinnias and the bees and butterflies will come. Chives are another plant which bees love. Include herbs such as borage, comfrey, mint and lavender in your pollinator garden. Cover crops such as Crimson Clover attract bees and can be worked into your garden to improve the soil once it stops flowering. Gardening with pollinators in mind will include a place for them to find water. Birdbaths are a great source of water for bees and other pollinators. Place some flat stones in the birdbath so bees will have a place to land and drink safely. With some thought and planning, you can make your garden a destination for bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.

No comments:

Post a Comment