If you are a gardener looking for your next big project, you should consider starting a pollinator garden. By choosing plants that will be the most likely to attract bees and other pollinating critters, you are helping the planet become more bountiful, and you are also creating a more self-sustaining garden.
In this article, we will explore some flowers that fit perfectly in pollinator gardens, as well as some ideas for how you can best look after the area. Read on to learn how to create a beautiful pollinator garden. As you work through the process, you can refer back to this article for ideas and advice.
Bees and other flying insects are usually attracted to brightly colored flowers. Oranges, yellows, and reds appear to be the most effective. The flowers also tend to have a flat or open shape, which allows for easier access to nectar and pollen. The following are a few plants you should consider for your pollinator garden. Each of these is sure to get the attention of our buzzing, furry friends.
There are multiple varieties of black-eyed Susans available, so you have a lot of choices when it comes to finding the right one for your landscape. These four-foot-tall plants bloom beautifully and will bring plenty of excited bees to your garden. Also, black-eyed Susans are drought-resistant, which makes them especially easy to support. Just give them full access to the sun, plant them in well-drained soil, and watch them bloom.
Not all pollinator plants are built just for bees. The butterfly bush is primarily visited by butterflies of all different kinds. Hummingbirds also like butterfly bushes. Pollinators are attracted to the bush’s sweet smell. However, the butterfly bush comes with its challenges. It can be weedy in some parts of the country, so make sure you do your research and check if that will be a problem in your area. These plants can grow up to six feet tall, and they require well-drained soil and a full sun.
These purple shuttlecock-shaped flowers attract bees and other insects. They have a wide color palette, including yellow, burgundy, cream, yellow, and orange. But you must be careful to choose the one used by pollinators. Keep them in the full sun in well-drained water. They can grow up to three feet tall.
An easy-to-grow pollinator favorite that adds a little wildflower flavor to your garden, yarrow should be used as a groundcover or put on the borders. With this strategic placement, pollinating bees will find your space. They must be kept in the full sun and planted in well-drained soil. They can grow to be three feet tall.
Arrange in Groups
Now that we have a good handle on some possible flowers to populate your garden, it is time to get into the actual steps of how to create a beautiful pollinator garden. The first piece of advice is to arrange the plants in groups. Beginner gardeners sometimes make the mistake of organizing their plants so different species mingle together. But you will get more beautiful rows of color if you group the plants separately. Furthermore, insects will find it easier to get to their plant of choice if it is surrounded by its clones.
Pinch Off Deadheads
Since fresh flowers produce the most pollen and nectar, you want to make sure the plants in your pollinator garden are kept fresh as much as possible. If you ever see a deadhead flower, clip it so a brand new flower with lots of pollen and nectar can grow in its place. By keeping your garden well-tended and beautiful, you will keep the pollinators coming back time and time again.
Use a Container
If you want to save some space and create a beautiful decorative piece for your garden, you can always grow the plants in a container of some kind. Whether it be a flowerpot, an old shoe, a bucket, or a two-liter bottle, creating gardens in containers is a fun activity, especially for beginner gardeners. If you want to get your kids involved, consider teaching them how to make their own garden in a container.
Do Not Use Pesticides
As you plan your pollinator garden, you want to keep away from insecticides because they can kill the insects you want as your clientele. They may stave off some pesky pests, but they can also negate a lot of the progress. If you are concerned about plant-eating bugs, you can use a strong jet from your hose to knock them off. If you are really brave, you can handpick them yourself.
Add a Water Feature
Pollinating insects can get tired flying around. If you want to be a gracious host to the little critters that visit your garden, give them a place to cool down. Fill up a bowl with water, and then stack stones in the bowl until at least one of them reaches above the surface. The insects can fly onto the rocks and lean into the pool of water to slake their thirst.
Wait, Watch, Water, Weed
Once you have your garden prepared, you now must look after what you have started. It may take some time, but there will come a day when bees, butterflies, and other pollinators come to enjoy your garden. Make sure they have a presentable place to enjoy themselves by weeding and watering the garden frequently.
Pollinator gardens are one of the best gifts you can give to the natural world. We need pollinating creatures to support our ecosystems every day. Without their help, our world will almost certainly perish. Giving them opportunities to find pollinating plants allows our world to breathe a little more, and in turn, to feed us a little more.
As you prepare your garden, you should keep in mind the tremendously positive impact you are leaving on the planet. However, you should also make sure not to lose sight of why these gardens are worthwhile for you personally: they are fun. Planting creates opportunities for joy and laughter and family memories.
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