Have you been thinking about bees and butterflies as you make plans for your garden, landscape and outdoor spaces? As concern for our friendly pollinators increases, so does the demand for pollinator attracting plants. Creating a back yard habitat for these pollinators to thrive in is good for them and good for the environment.
Pollinating insects are responsible for every 3rd bite of food we eat, and 75% of all plants require animals for pollination. Insects making up the largest numbers. They are as important to a plant’s health and well-being as the right amount of light, water and nutrients.
Pollinators need food, shelter and water to survive. Pretty easy, right? Flowering plants like Russian sage, coneflowers, and catmint will bring the bees, and butterflies are attracted to petunias, lantana and milkweed. These plants provide nectar and food for our flying friends. Shrubs and grasses are perfect for providing much needed shelter against predators. Make sure to have a water source. Shallow bowls and bird baths work well.
Keep the Color all Season
Consider varying bloom times when planning your design. Choosing plants that bloom at different or multiple times in a season not only keeps your look fresh, but also keeps the bees and butterflies from having to leave to search for another food source.
Perennials are easy to maintain and varying growth can shade or hide weeds. Phlox, Salvia, Butterfly Bush, Asters and Bee Balm will add depth, color and height. These plants require little maintenance and will come back bigger and better each year.
No Space? No Problem!
You don’t have to have a large area to attract pollinators. Whether it’s a few plants in the backyard or a container garden on the patio, every little bit helps! Some beautiful annuals in a cute container are all you need to make a great pollinator habitat.
So, how do you bring pollinators into your yard? We suggest planting a few of these easy-to-grow plants:
- Coral Bells
- Russian Sage
- Black-eyed Susan
Once you commit to adding a few plants into your landscape, these friendly pollinators will become frequent visitors. Don’t forget to set out a shallow dish of water, butterflies and birds will thank you!