Planting for Pollinators - PLANT LISTS
In order to attract pollinators it is important to provide a variety of plants and colors with varied pollen and nectar throughout the entire growing season. Even a small garden can provide habitat attractive to birds, bees, and butterflies. Below are some hints for creating a pollinator garden:
- Incorporate local native plants into your garden. Native varieties have evolved along with our pollinators. They are more
attractive to pollinators and better meet their needs.
Native Plantsare believed to have become established in the region prior to European colonization and that
have evolved in a given place over a period of time sufficient to develop complex and essential relationships with the
physical environment and other organisms in a given ecological community.
Why are native plants so important?
. They flourish without synthetic pesticides
. Rarely need watering once established
. Provide food and habitat for wildlife
. They contribute to biodiversity
. They make our regions unique and connect us to those places we call home
. They teach us about our natural world
. They are beautiful
- 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 plantsis important. Choose flowers in a variety of shapes and sizes to benefit all pollinators and plan for you garden to
have continual bloom from spring through fall.
- Plant flowers in groups.Clusters or swaths of flowers attract more pollinators. If space allows, make groupings 3 feet or more in
- 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.