Planting for Pollinators - Plant Lists - How to Plant for Pollinators
Native plants evolved over time to develop complex and essential relationships with our pollinators and other beneficial insects. They are more attractive to our bees, butterflies and other important pollinators and better meet their nutritional needs.
In order to attract pollinators it is important to provide plants with a variety of shapes, sizes and colors throughout the entire growing season. Even a small garden can provide habitat attractive to birds, bees, and butterflies.
Why Native Plants?
. They flourish without synthetic pesticides.
- Require less care since adapted to our local climate & soils.
. Rarely need watering once established.
. Provide food and habitat for wildlife.
. Contribute to biodiversity.
- Native Trees keep our air and waterways clean & prevent soil erosion.
- Native Trees sequester carbon more efficiently than non-natives.
. Native plants connect us to our unique natural surroundings.
. Native Plants are Beautiful.
Plants for Specific Pollinators
Trees, Shrubs and Vines
Plants for Specific Site Conditions and Needs
How to Plant for Pollinators
- 3-Season Bloom. It is important to have continuous bloom throughout the season. This ensures a supply of food (pollen & nectar)
for each pollinator species during the time they are actively foraging. Some pollinators are active only in spring, others during summer or fall.
Most only live a few weeks as adult pollinators. Providing food during their time is critical.
- Color is important. Bees prefer yellow, white, and blue but will visit other flowers since they see colors on the ultraviolet spectrum;
Butterflies are attracted to red, orange, yellow, and pink; Hummingbirds like the red, orange, and purple-red flowers.
- Diversity of plants is important. Choose flowers in a variety of shapes and sizes to benefit all pollinators and plan your garden to
have continuous bloom from spring through fall. Choose 3 different plant species for each season.
- Plant flowers in groups. Clusters or swaths of same flowers attract more pollinators. Ideally, groupings 3 feet or more in
diameter for each plant type is best. Planting 3-5 of each plant is a good start. And many native plants will reseed, giving you more plants
as your garden matures.
- Include host plants for butterfly larvae. Plants, trees, and shrubs offer food for developing caterpillars. Many butterfly
caterpillars require specific host plants.
- And don't forget to provide water and shelter. A dead limb or log on the ground can provide shelter. A shallow dish of wet
stones or mud provides a source of water and nutrients. Some bare spots of soil help ground nesting bees. Leaf litter and clump
grasses provide for bumblebees and butterflies. Leaf litter is especially important for overwintering queen bumblebees and butterflies.
The Monarch is the only butterfly to migrate in the fall.