No matter the size of your garden, you can turn your space into a place pollinators love to visit or, if you’re committed to it, even call their home.
Why Attract Pollinators?
Plant flowers that bloom all through the season: Gather a mix of flowers that bloom all season long. A good mix of perennial and annual flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, makes your garden a place pollinators can count on returning to.
Avoid hybrid flowers: Some hybrids, although they look beautiful to us, do not possess a desirable amount of pollen and nectar for pollinators. Sometimes they may not even have a fragrance, which is a big attractor for hummingbirds and insects alike. Plus, native flowers better reflect pollinators’ natural environment, making it more welcoming to them.
Don’t use pesticides: You’re inviting new life into your garden. Using pesticides, even organic ones, sends mixed messages to wildlife and may be harmful to them. Keep things growing as naturally as possible to create the safest haven for your visitors.
Anticipate new life: While there are ways to reduce it, be prepared for some of your plants’ leaves to be nibbled on. You can better control leaf-munching by growing a few host flowers that cater to the insect. That way, they have a safe place to gorge themselves and grow freely, without overrunning your garden.
Keep some water nearby: Pollinators like butterflies get nutrients and salts from wet earth. That’s why you’ll often see them near muddy puddles — they’re just enjoying a drink! If you don’t fancy having puddles all over your garden, consider including a birdbath or other water features.
Repurpose dead leaves and branches: If you are looking to give a home to bees or monarch butterflies, you can create shelter out of dead branches and leaves, which are natural attractors for insects.
Flowers for Hummingbirds
- Bee Balm
- Upright Phlox
Honey Bee Friendly Flowers
- Blackberry and Raspberry Shrubs
Flowers for Butterflies and Caterpillars
- Blanket Flower
- Chaste Tree
- Butterfly Bush
If you’re looking to host some new life in your garden, caterpillars love to munch on these plants.
It’s possible to draw the company of butterflies and hummingbirds by hanging your own nectar feeder. Making your own artificial nectar to fill it is easy. Simply mix 1 part refined white sugar to 4 parts water. Do not use artificial sweeteners or fruit juices, as these can harbor harmful fungi.