Pollination may seem like a boring subject that need not conern gardeners, but if you want to be able to pick apples and pears from your fruit trees then you need to encourage bees and other pollinators to visit your garden. This article by Ruth Harrigan which I found on Mike’s Backyard Nursery website lists the best plants to grow to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees and also some useful links to other sources.
As civilization continues to encroach on wild habitats it is now more imperative than ever for gardeners like us to lend a hand to all the pollinators who need a variety of flowers as a source of nectar and pollen. An oasis can be easily created for our pollinating friends such as bees, moths, beetles, birds, bats, and butterflies by planting a mix of native flowers and plants.
Reports on climate change and environmental factors that may affect the health of bees are particularly alarming to a beekeeper like me.? The plight of the honeybee and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) are devastating honeybee colonies around the world. So far in 2017 the Bumble bee and 7 Hawaiian yellow-faced bees were put onto the endangered species list and the Monarch butterfly may follow suit.
Let?s do our part in helping the pollinators by doing what we love, gardening which allows them to do what they love, pollinating.?? This symbiotic relationship will have all of us come out smelling like roses.
Here is list of plants favored by specific pollinators. Of course, you will have native plants in your region of the country that are best for the area?s climate and pollinators. A great source for pollinator plants local to you are the pollinator planting guides from www.pollinator.org. They have 32 guides for specific regions of the U.S. and four for Canada to help you plant a local pollinator garden. Here is an overview of some of the most popular flowers, trees, bushes, fruits, and vegetables to plant to attract pollinators.
Best Plants to Attract Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and Bees
Butterflies: Butterflies not only pollinate as they flutter around the garden sipping nectar from flowers they also lay their eggs on the leaves of host plants. To protect from predators the female butterfly will lay her eggs on the underside of the leaves of a host plant. Monarch and The Queen butterfly favor the milkweed plant. Pipevine Swallowtails are partial to the pipevine, snakeroot, and knot vine. Black Swallowtail butterflies like parsley, carrots, and parsnips as their host plants for their eggs. Once the caterpillar is born it will eat the leaves of the host plant.
- Milkweed ? is the number one plant for attracting Monarch butterflies. Look for genus Asclepias at your local nursery. You can also get 15 free Milkweed seeds from https://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm
- Bee balm
- Butterfly Bush ? the name says it all!
See more at Mike’s Backyard Nursery