Part of the fun of having a garden is observing the activity in it every day. I enjoy seeing butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds work their way through a gathering of colorful blooms; don't you? While entertaining us, these creatures are also doing the important work of spreading pollen. Today, I'm looking at how to make your garden attractive to pollinators in all shapes and sizes. Enjoy!
Plant Flowers in Bright Colors and Different Shapes
Bright colors are the name of the game if you want pollinators to make a beeline for your garden. Red, orange, yellow, pink, and purple flowers are all favorable options if you like to see a lot of butterflies and hummingbirds. Butterflies especially like fragrant flowers with flat petals that are easy to land on. Some enticing flowers with flat petals include Mexican sunflowers, purple cornflowers, and red dahlias.
Hummingbirds love tubular flowers. This shape makes it easy for them to access the nectar. Try some cardinal flowers, columbines, or hollyhocks if you want to put out the welcome mat for hummingbirds this spring and summer.
Purple, blue, violet, and white flowers are special favorites with bees. Bees can't see the color red, but they recognize blue and purple flowers as having a lot of nectar, which makes them a big favorite.
Maintain a Flourishing Flower Garden
Keep a constant supply of flourishing, nectar-rich flowers available in your garden and you'll have pollinators galore! One way to do this is to plant several types of annuals. Cosmos, sunflowers, alyssum, ageratum, pansies, and annual daisies are all great options. Petunias are also on the list of annuals that pollinators absolutely love. I don't think any garden is complete without a gathering of purple, bright red, pink, and bright white petunias fluttering in the wind. Plant some perennials in your garden as well: Perennials popular with pollinators include purple salvia, verbena, pink coneflowers, and orange day lilies.
Plant Your Flowers in Large Clumps
Pollinators like flowers to be close together, and when you're planting in clumps, yellow zinnias are an excellent choice. These flowers bloom in profusion, creating a sea of yellow petals that's hard to miss. Other flowers to plant in big clumps include black-eyed Susans, yarrow, foxglove, and purple coneflowers.
Grow Vegetables Beloved by Bees
If you want to attract bumblebees to your vegetable garden, make sure you plant some of their favorites. Examples include tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and beans.
Hover flies, which aren't bees but look like them, can benefit your garden by pollinating as well as killing pests. These pollinators are attracted to parsley, peppers, beets, celery, and carrots.
Set Up a Bird Bath
In addition to giving the birds a cool drink of water, a bird bath can be used by butterflies, bees, and other insects. Chances are good that if a pollinator stops for a quick drink in your bird bath, it will stay to partake of the nectar in your flower garden as well!
Use Eco-Friendly Materials
Another way to make your garden appealing to pollinators is to make it eco-friendly. For instance, use organic pesticides and fertilizers. It takes a bit more effort to create and nurture an organic garden, but you'll know that visiting pollinators will be safe from hazardous chemicals.
Interesting Facts About Pollinators
- Hummingbirds are attracted to strawberries.
- Bees look for flowers with ridges and stripes on their petals because they act as a roadmap to the center of the bloom and its nectar.
- A flower's fragrance is a non-issue for hummingbirds: They don't have a sense of smell.
I hope you include some of these flowers and veggies in your garden this year. Give those pollinators a reason to come back again and again! Thanks for reading. - Alan