More than ever, gardeners are selecting plants to attract pollinators. If you are creating a habitat for migrating monarchs and other butterflies, or you want to maximize the yield of your vegetable garden, we have seven tips for attracting pollinators to your garden.
1- Safety: Avoid using pesticides in your garden. Pesticides kill beneficial insects as well as harmful ones. A more ecologically sound practice is to create an environment that is conducive to insects that prey on the unwanted insects.
2 - Go Native: Many pollinators rely solely on native plants as their host plant. Adding plants to your garden that benefit the juvenile as well as the adult insect will make your garden more desirable to pollinators.
3 - Use Color: Bees have great color vision. They are drawn to flowers that are blue, purple, violet, white and yellow.
4 - Diversity in Flower Shape: Pollinators have evolved to feed on specific flowers. By incorporating as many shapes and sizes of flowers in your garden as possible, the more desirable your garden will be to a wider variety of pollinators.
5 - Plant for All Seasons: Incorporate plants that bloom from early spring into late autumn. Migrating and local pollinators require pollen and host plants at different times of the growing season.
6 - Plant in Large Clumps: It is amazing that a monarch can find the one solitary milkweed in a garden or container! That seems like a lot of work on the monarch’s part for one plant. Plant nectar and host plants in large groupings to make them more visible and beneficial to pollinators.
Above image- Wikimedia-Mardueng
7 - Water: Place a few saucers with a layer of stones throughout the garden. Keep the water clean by rinsing the saucers out each day. Bees, butterflies and other insects will perch on the stones to access the water. The stones also prevent smaller animals, including pollinators from drowning.