Planting For Pollinators – Techniques to Attract Bees & Butterflies

Strive to grow a diverse assortment of plants to attract more pollinators. Add flowers that bloom throughout the growing season and offer pollen and nectar throughout that timeframe.

Select flowers of various shapes and colours to attract various pollinator species. Flowers like Liatris and Zinnias are beloved favourites among bees, while tubular trumpet-shaped blooms like tubular trumpet-shaped blooms are attractive to butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, moths, moths (whose long tongues reach nectar easily) as well as plants with scent are sure to draw in these pollinators species.

Plant in Groups

Pollinators thrive in gardens filled with multiple flower varieties that provide both nectar and pollen for pollination, along with diverse flower shapes and colours that produce nectar or pollen – as well as providing nectar or pollen themselves. A succession of blooms from spring through fall would be ideal.

Whether for a wildflower meadow, vegetable garden or window box, choose flowers that provide pollen and nectar for pollinators. When possible, incorporate perennials and annuals native to your region, as native species have unique relationships with pollinator species that tend to be more resilient against local conditions than non-native ones.

Strive for a diverse collection of flowers, herbs, vegetables and shrubs in your landscape design. Avoid invasive plants which might compete for resources against native ones. Furthermore, avoid pesticides which could harm bees and other pollinators in your garden.

Consider planting bee-friendly herb gardens using borage, calendula, dill, parsley and mint as plants to attract bees, as well as bee-attracting flowers like alyssum, asters, butterfly weed, echinacea marigold sunflower or four o’clock which bloom night-blooming for optimal moth and bat attraction.

When choosing flowers to attract bees and extract pollen, look for ones with open structures and long petals, encouraging bees to land and collect pollen from them. Consider tubular trumpet-like blooms such as honeysuckle and penstemon as well as flat umbel-like varieties like ajuga, cleome and nepeta; flowers in blue, purple or yellow shades attract bees while parsley and achillea blossoms attract hummingbirds.

Flowers with one ring of petals surrounding a central disc make it easier for butterflies to land, while flat-topped blooms, such as nasturtiums, sunflowers and zinnias, tend to attract them in great numbers.

Attracting pollinators requires creating an inviting garden by providing shelter. This could take the form of offering simple shelter like a birdhouse or going further by building a bee hotel. Furthermore, provide water sources for drinking and bathing purposes – bees, butterflies and hummingbirds all require somewhere they can wash off pollen collected during their travels – be that in a birdbath, shallow saucer or deliberately muddy puddle; don’t forget a spot to hang their feeder too.

Plant in Drifts

Pollinators are drawn to flowers for their protein-rich pollen and sweet nectar, and mimicking their shapes and sizes is especially attractive, so plant a mix of blooms with various shapes.

Bees and butterflies are drawn to flowers with bright, lively colours such as orange, yellow, red, pink or purple hues. Bees are particularly drawn to those that feature orange petals; yellow ones attract bees; scent-producing blooms draw them further, as do long-opening petals that allow easy access for snacking purposes. Bumblebees prefer short open blooms with visible nectar guides like dark spots or stripes for quick snacking, while buff-tailed bumblebees prefer short tubular-shaped plants like white clover and comfrey as sources of nectar sources.

Selecting native flowers for your region will provide pollinators with food and shelter nearby. A wide variety of plant species will also support pollinators throughout different seasons – plan flowering times so one species nearing its bloom is about to bloom at the same time another starts its flowering season.

Consider including vines, grasses and trees in your planting mix alongside flowers. Incorporating native maples (Acer), hemlocks (Tsuga), serviceberries (Amelanchier) and serviceberries (Amelanchier) in early spring can provide vital pollen sources to native bees when other flowers are scarce. Late summer and fall garden favourites that support pollinators include asters (Symphyotrichum), goldenrod (Solidago), and Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium).

Pollinator-friendly trees and shrubs provide essential winter forage for bees. Delay yard work and debris cleanup until spring to create a critical winter habitat for these pollinators – dead twigs, flower heads, grass clippings and leaf litter will provide essential shelter.

As with any garden, pesticides and chemicals should be kept to a minimum in your pollinator patch to protect its inhabitants and ground-nesting bees that rely on loose, nutrient-rich soil to nest. Heavy mulches should also be avoided since they make it harder for native bees to access food sources underground.

Plant in Shade

Bumble bees depend on spring-blooming woodland plants like Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) and Trout Lilies (Erythronium americanum) for early floral resources, as well as summer-blooming perennials like Joe Pye weed or fall-blooming shrubs for food sources. To attract butterflies and moths, native host plants for monarch butterfly caterpillars (Monarch butterfly, swallowtail butterfly, and Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar host plants may help).

Bees are drawn to flowers with vibrant colours and mild-to-pleasant aromas; open flowers providing ample nectar are also appealing. Hummingbirds tend to prefer red or pink trumpet-shaped blooms with vibrant colours like red beebalm, bee balm, native geraniums, cardinal flowers, lobelia, and great blue lobelia (to name just some examples of spring-blooming plants).

Trees and shrubs offer pollinators shelter, food, and shade throughout the year. Some popular shade-tolerant shrubs that attract bees and butterflies include Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree), Amelanchier spp. (serviceberry), Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea) and Fothergilla gardenii (witch alder).

Wild areas on your property can provide shelter, food, and nesting sites for pollinators while simultaneously being enjoyed by humans. Allow a patch of woods or field to go wild by not mowing it and planting dense ground covers such as grasses and short flowering shrubs/trees with thick ground cover for bees/other insects over winter if mowing occurs; alternatively, leave some leaf litter/a “mini-meadow” at its centre in case bees/other insects use this area as nesting site during this process.

Interspersing native wildflowers among crop fields is a simple yet effective way to increase the pollinator populations, according to researchers in Michigan who planted wildflowers around high-bush blueberry fields and saw wild bee numbers increase by approximately 20%. This strategy can also be implemented at home – perhaps with flowers surrounding vegetable plots or as an edible border with fruiting trees like apples, berries, blueberries, tomatoes and peppers forming part of this strategy.

Plant in Containers

Container gardening with pollinator-friendly plants can be an excellent way to increase pollinator populations without wasting too much space in your yard. From one potted flower to a garden full of blooming buds, pollinators-attracting flowers will surely draw bees and other pollinators into your backyard!

Choose plants of varying colours and textures for your container garden to provide bees, butterflies and hummingbirds with more pollinators to attract. Clear-centre plants make finding pollinators much more straightforward than those with many petals.

Choose plants that bloom throughout the year – perennials and annuals will provide pollinators with nectar-rich flowers throughout the year, providing pollinators with continuous nectar sources throughout the year.

Select plants suitable to your climate and soil conditions. Native species are an excellent choice as they have evolved with local pollinator populations; heat- and drought-tolerant varieties will also do well in your area.

When purchasing plants, please pay careful attention to their plant tags so you know how tall each will grow when fully matured. This will help ensure tall plants allow shorter ones to be seen from above. When planting in containers, follow interior design rules such as threes or fives as an interior design rule to prevent one variety from overwhelming another array.

Remind yourself to water your plants regularly throughout the summer if you want your garden to look its best and remain healthy. Avoid pesticides as these can kill off insects you need for pollination; instead, use strong jets of water from a garden hose or handpick them to control any pest problems.

You are making your container pollinator-friendly, which can be as straightforward or complex as you wish, depending on your desired level of complexity. A few basic guidelines will assist in crafting an appealing display which will add character and colour to your backyard or balcony space.

Leave a Comment