Nectar and pollen from a variety of native plants blooming throughout the growing seasons is, without question, the best way to attract and support a variety of pollinators.
Pollinators are attracted to blooms that fit their physiological traits - specifically blooms that fit the length of their tongue (proboscis). Some bees are generalists, flitting among flowers to drink nectar and collect pollen from many plant species. Flat or shallow blossoms, such as asters or coreopsis, attract a variety of bee species. But long-tongued bee species will be attracted to plants with deeper nectaries and flowers with petals that form long tubes. Include flowers that bloom in early spring, to provide food for newly emerging bumble bee queens, as well as in the fall, when pollinators continue to be active and need the additional energy for overwintering. Also, grouping plants in clumps of three or more attract bees to the plants and allow them to forage efficiently.
Inextricably linked, pollinators are as vital to native plants as the plants are vital to them. Gardening with native plants and avoiding insecticide use creates pollinator-friendly landscapes that can help curb pollinator decline.
More Tips: Seven Pollinator Friendly Practices
Best native plants for pollinators – guaranteed to turn your garden into a pollinator paradise!
Mid to Late Season
Pollinators are suffering from loss of habitat, chemical misuse, the proliferation of invasive plants, and diseases and parasites. In the past eight years, more than 10 million beehives worldwide have been lost to Colony Collapse Disorder, with a near 40% loss of honeybee hives reported in 2014. While the non-native honeybee receives most of the credit for crop pollination, native bees are significant contributors and their populations are declining as well. Many native pollinators are listed as endangered.
Pollinators are responsible for more than one-third of our food supply and 75% of the world’s agricultural crops. Not only are pollinators a key resource in the success of our food production, they are responsible for the successful continuation and reproduction of countless species of plants around the world. The activity of pollinators is an integral part of the interdependent biotic community of our planet – including plants, insects, fungi, and mammals such as ourselves.
As gardeners we have an opportunity to garden in alignment with a healthy environment, and foster the life of the biotic community with native plants and pollinator friendly practices.
Prairie Nursery is Neonicotinoid-Free. We do not use neonicotinoids in any part of our plant growing process. More about neonicotinoids...