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What Should I Plant to Attract Pollinators?

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Pollinators play a crucial role in ecosystems, significantly impacting the environment and human well-being. It is essential to protect and conserve pollinator populations. Threats, such as habitat loss, climate change, invasive species, pesticide use, and disease can have detrimental effects on pollinator populations. Taking a stance on creating pollinator paradises, eliminating pesticides, preserving natural habitat and wildlife areas, and promoting sustainable agricultural practices are all important aspects in ensuring the survival and well-being of pollinators – including the ecosystems they support!

Some amazing pollinator flower varieties include:

Tidy Tips, also known as Coastal Tidytips, are part of the Aster Family (Asteraceae). Tidy Tips offer distinctive yellow and white daisy-like flowers with orderly three-toothed petals. They provide an abundance of nectar for pollinators and extended blooming periods.

Tidy Tips

Pollinators Checkerspot butterflies and many other butterflies; native bees; moths; birds enjoy the seeds.

Host Plant White-lined sphinx; small heliothodes moth

Type Annual

Sow Early spring (after the last frost)

Bloom April to July

Native Western United States

 

Echinacea, also known as Purple Coneflower and the Eastern Purple Coneflower, is part of the Aster Family (Asteraceae). Echinacea offers long-lasting purple flowers. Over time, the petals provide a droopy effect with a prominent cone-shaped center. This structure makes it easy for pollinators to access the nectar. Echinacea flowers are often used to make tea that strengthens the immune system.

Pollinators Long-tongued bees: bumblebees, digger/miner bees, leaf-

cutting bees, carpenter bees, Normadine cuckoo bees, honeybees; bee flies; halictid and short-tongued bees: green metallic bees; butterflies and skippers: monarchs, sulfurs and whites, swallowtails, fritillaries, silvery spotted skipper.

Echinacea

Host Plant Caterpillars of the silvery checkerspot butterfly; wavy emerald moth; sunflower moth

Type Perennial

Sow Spring

Bloom June to August

Native Eastern United States

 

Black-eyed Susan, also known as Common Black-eyed Susan and Brown-eyed Susan, is part of the Aster Family (Asteraceae). Black-eyed Susan produces nectar for pollinators and provides shelter for several song and game birds. They have a golden-yellow ray of flowers, with a black or brown central cone. They are often used for erosion control and are extremely attractive to many pollinator species.

Pollinators Goldfinches; long-tongued bees: bumblebees, honeybees andrenid bees, digger/miner bees, cuckoo bees; butterflies and skippers: brush-footed butterflies, sulfurs, and whites; halictid and short-tongued bees: sweat bees; owlet moths; bee flies; flower flies; checkered beetles; blowflies.

Black-Eyed Susan

Host Plant Butterflies and caterpillars of the silvery checkerspot butterfly and bordered patch butterfly.

Type Biennial

Sow Spring

Bloom June to October

Native Central United States

 

Butterfly Milkweed, also known as Butterfly Weed, Chigger Weed, Orange Milkweed, and Chigger Flower, is part of the Milkweed Family (Asclepiadaceae). Butterfly Milkweed provides bright yellow-orange clusters of flowers. The blooms are highly attractive to many butterfly and bee species, as well as hummingbirds. Butterfly Milkweed provides food, shelter, and reproductive resources, most famously to the Monarch butterfly. This species does not have milky sap like other milkweed species. They need full sun to bloom.

Pollinators Long-tongued bees: bumblebees, leaf-cutting bees, carpenter bees, yellow-faced bees, plasterer bees, honeybees; bee flies; halictid and short-tongued bees; butterflies and skippers: monarchs, eastern tiger swallowtail, pipevine swallowtail, red admiral, great spangled fritillary, American copper, Edward’s hairstreak, Delaware skipper; moths: white-lined sphinx, milkweed tiger/tussock moth; flies: syrphid/hover flies; long-horned beetles

Butterfly Milkweed

Host Plant Butterflies and caterpillars of the monarch and queen butterflies.

Type Perennial

Sow Spring

Bloom May to September

Native Eastern United States

 

The California Poppy, also known as the California Gold Poppy, is part of the Poppy Family (Papaveraceae). California Poppies are the state flower of California, offering yellow-orange cup-shaped satiny petals with a deep-orange spot at the base. Their extended blooming period allows them to be a consistent and reliable source for pollinators – particularly in the early part of the growing season. Nectar and pollen are easily accessible in the open-faced broad petals. California poppies produce ample pollen and provide shelter and habitat.

California Poppy

Pollinators Wide range of pollinators including birds, butterflies, bees, and small herbivores.

Host Plant Butterflies and caterpillars of the acmon blue, Mormon metalmark, pacific dotted blue, and veined blue butterflies; buckwheat borer moth and white-lined sphinx.

Type Perennial; cannot survive frost.

Sow Spring

Bloom March to May

Native Western United States

 

Wild Bergamot, also known as Beebalm and Eastern Bergamot, is part of the Mint Family (Lamiaceae). Wild Bergamot offers clusters of lavender, pink, and white ragged pompom-shaped flowers, with mint-scented leaves. They are often used to make mint tea and used to treat respiratory ailments. Additionally, Wild Bergamot is deer and squirrel resistant.

Wild BergamotPollinators Monarchs, clearwing hummingbird moths, ruby-throated hummingbirds, fritillaries, and a wide range of other pollinators.

Host Plant Hermit sphinx moth, orange mint moth, and the raspberry Pyrausta.

Type Perennial

Sow Spring

Bloom June to July

Native North America

 

Blue-Eyed Grass, also known as Western Blue-eyed Grass, California Blue-Eyed Grass, and Rocky Point, is part of the Iris Family (Iridaceae). Blue-eyed grass narrow-leaved umbels of starry blue or violet flowers. They provide a rich source of nectar for pollinators, attracting bees with their yellow centers. This perennial is short-lived with a horizontal stem (rhizome) that resembles an Iris.

Pollinators Wide range of pollinators including hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.

Blue-Eyed Grass

Host Plant White-lined sphinx

Type Perennial

Sow Spring (mix seeds with moist sand and store in the fridge for 60 days before planting); Fall (direct sow)

Bloom February to June

Native Western United States

 

Drummond Phlox, also known as Annual Phlox, Pride of Texas, Texas Belle, and Texas, are part of the Phlox Family (Polemoniaceae). Drummond Phlox offer clusters of bright rose-red or pink flowers. They are often used to make mint tea and used to treat respiratory ailments. Additionally, Wild Bergamot is deer and squirrel resistant.

Drummond PhloxPollinators Wide range of pollinators including hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees: bumblebees and honeybees.

Type Annual

Sow Spring

Bloom April to July

Native Eastern North America

In conclusion, pollinators play a critical role in our ecosystems and have a profound impact on both natural and agricultural systems. They are essential for the reproduction of countless plant species, including many of our food crops, ensuring the production of fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Pollinators contribute to the overall biodiversity and stability of ecosystems, promoting the health and resilience of plant communities. Additionally, they facilitate the transfer of genetic material between plants, allowing for adaptation and evolution. However, pollinators face numerous challenges, including habitat loss, pesticide exposure, climate change, and disease. It is crucial that we take active measures to protect and support pollinators by preserving their habitats, reducing pesticide use, promoting native plant species, and raising awareness about their importance. By valuing and conserving pollinators, we not only safeguard the intricate web of life on our planet but also secure the foundation of our own food security and well-being.

 

Celebrate Pollinator Week with 25% off all wildflower varieties and pollinator blends until June 26, 2023!

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