We all know how important it is that bees are able to pollinate the flowers and vegetables in our gardens. While there are an abundance of plants to provide pollen during the summer months there are far fewer in the winter when the bees still need to feed. In this article which I came across on the Houzz website Aislin Suparak Gibson describes five plants that bloom at this season.
Pollinators and bees eagerly seek nourishing blooms to help them survive the winter. Some bumblebee species with furry coats may forage for food well into the winter months. Honeybees venture from the hive on rare, warm days when the temperatures are above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or 13 degrees Celsius, to search for nectar and pollen.
Here are a few plants that grow in a variety of regions, are tough enough to survive the cold, and complement native plantings by blooming during the lean winter and early-spring months.?Charity? Oregon grape (Mahonia x media ?Charity?) features attractive flowers and berries that are tasty to wildlife.
Native to eastern Asia, North and South America
These evergreen shrubs, also known as Oregon grape or barberry, have candy-like flower stalks with a fragrance reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley that bees find irresistible. Most mahonias have spiny leaves, making them an excellent choice for a privacy shrub or barrier. They?re also known to be deer-resistant.Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is native to some regions in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and northern Mexico. Photo by born1945
The hundreds of small flowers on each mahonia are attractive food sources for pollinators. Native bees, honeybees, hummingbirds and other pollinators can feast on many blooms in one spot while conserving precious energy.
Bloom season: November to March, depending on variety
Where they will grow: Hardy to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 9.4 degrees Celsius (USDA zones 5 to 9; find your zone), depending on species
Water requirement: Drought tolerant once established but needs more water in a sunny spot
Light requirement: Full sun to dappled shade
Mature size: Up 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide
When to plant: Spring or fall