For many of us, gardening is a way to connect with the nature around us and create our own biodiverse communities right in our backyards. A great way to keep your garden and the native plants around it prospering, while also attracting uniquely beautiful wildlife, is to incorporate pollinator plants into your mix of blooms.
What is Pollination?
Pollination is the process of moving pollen from one flower to another of the same species, which produces fertile seeds. Almost all flowering plants need to be pollinated. Some plants are pollinated by wind or water, and some are even self-pollinating. Pollinators are vital to maintaining healthy ecosystems. They are essential for plant reproduction and produce genetic diversity, allowing for plants to adapt to changes in their environment.
Who Are Pollinators?
Bees are by far the most effective pollinators because they feed only on flowers. They seek out the nectar and protein-rich pollen to distribute as fuel to other plant species. However. Butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, and wasps also serve as pollinators.
How Do I Attract Pollinators to my Garden?
- Pollinators are “best” adapted to local, native plants, which often need less water than ornamentals.
- Plant big patches of each plant species for better foraging efficiency.
- Flowers should bloom in your garden throughout the growing season. Plant willow, violet, and mayapple for spring and aster, joe-pye weed, and goldenrod for fall flowers.
- Butterflies favor platform-shaped sunflower and aster but will feed on a diversity of nectar-rich flowers from violet to serviceberry. They prefer red, purple, or yellow flowers with sweet scents.
- Bees prefer blue, purple, white, orange, and yellow flowers, and sweet fragrances. They see ultraviolet colors – found on the flowers of buttercup and black-eyed Susan.
Stop into our garden center nursery to see our selection of plants native to Bucks County to get started attracting pollinators and feeding your at-home ecosystem. We also carry all of the supplies you need to start backyard beekeeping yourself. Stop in and talk to one of our experts on how to get your hive started.