Pollinators play a vital role in maintaining a healthy and thriving ecosystem. By incorporating pollinator-friendly plants into your garden, you not only create a visually appealing space but also contribute to the well-being of these essential creatures.
In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to 10 must-have pollinator plants, provide growing and care tips, and discuss the specific pollinators attracted to each plant and how it benefits them. Let’s get started!
- Lavender (Lavandula): Attracting bees and butterflies alike, lavender is an excellent choice for a pollinator-friendly garden. Its fragrant, purple flowers are not only visually appealing but also provide an abundant nectar source. Lavender prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Prune the plants in early spring or late fall to encourage bushy growth and maintain their shape.
- Coneflower (Echinacea): These beautiful, daisy-like flowers are a favourite of bees and butterflies. Coneflowers are drought-tolerant, making them a low-maintenance option for your garden. They thrive in full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. Deadhead the spent flowers to prolong the blooming period and encourage more pollinators to visit.
- Bee Balm (Monarda): As the name suggests, bee balm is a favourite among bees, as well as hummingbirds and butterflies. These vibrant, tubular flowers come in a range of colors and require full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Keep the plants well-watered and divide them every few years to prevent overcrowding.
- Yarrow (Achillea): Yarrow’s flat, umbrella-shaped clusters of flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and ladybugs. This hardy perennial prefers full sun and well-draining soil. Yarrow is drought-tolerant, making it a low-maintenance option. Cut back the spent blooms to encourage a second round of flowering.
- Milkweed (Asclepias): Milkweed is a crucial plant for monarch butterflies, as it serves as their primary food source and breeding ground. This plant produces clusters of pink, purple, or white flowers, and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Avoid using pesticides, as they can be harmful to monarch caterpillars.
- Sunflower (Helianthus): Sunflowers are not only beautiful but also highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds. These easy-to-grow plants require full sun and well-draining soil. Be sure to choose varieties with pollen, as some are bred to not have any. Taller varieties may need staking to support their growth. Leave the seed heads in place after the flowers fade to provide food for birds in the fall and winter.
- Butterfly Bush (Buddleja): True to its name, the butterfly bush is a magnet for butterflies, as well as bees and hummingbirds. This fast-growing shrub produces long, cone-shaped clusters of fragrant flowers in various colors, including purple, pink, and white. Butterfly bushes prefer full sun and well-draining soil. Prune them back in late winter or early spring to encourage healthy, bushy growth and abundant blooms.
- Goldenrod (Solidago): Goldenrod’s bright yellow flowers are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. This hardy perennial thrives in full sun and well-draining soil. Goldenrod is also drought-tolerant, making it a low-maintenance option for your garden. Cut back spent blooms to encourage bushy growth and prevent self-seeding (unless you want self-seeding!).
- Aster (Asteraceae): Asters provide a valuable late-season food source for bees and butterflies. These perennials prefer full sun to part shade and well-draining soil. Pinch back the stems in early summer to encourage bushy growth and more flowers.
- Salvia (Salvia spp.): Salvia, also known as sage, attracts a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. These plants produce spikes of tubular flowers in various colours, depending on the species. Salvia prefers full sun and well-draining soil. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage continued flowering and keep the plants looking tidy.
By incorporating these 10 pollinator-friendly plants into your garden, you’ll create a haven for essential pollinators while also adding beauty and variety to your outdoor space. Each plant has specific care requirements, but generally, they all prefer well-draining soil and varying degrees of sun exposure.
Remember to avoid using pesticides, as they can harm pollinators. With a little care and consideration, your garden will soon be buzzing with life, supporting the essential work of these amazing creatures.
Ready to get started with your pollinator garden? Come visit us soon and we’ll help you get started with everything you need.