The birds, the bees...
and the butterflies: these are just a FEW of the many pollinators on this earth that serve such a secretly beneficial and beautiful purpose on this earth. But why do we need to make an effort to attract them to our gardens? Because pollinators are responsible for three-quarters of the world's food crops and many of the foods that we enjoy on a daily basis would not be existent without them. Because plants can not exist without the process of pollination. And plants are what's responsible for the air that we breathe and the food that we eat. So yes, pollinators are extremely important, because without them, our life as we currently know it, would not be.
Pollinators also work extremely hard and have a difficult job.
Did you know…
+ that some bees travel up to 3 miles just to visit your petunia garden?
+ that hummingbirds can visit up to 1000 flowers each day?
Crazy, right? And with all of this work that they do, they need our help, and there are some things that we can do to give them an extra boost to their day.
So here are five tips on how to attract
pollinators to your garden:
Plant A Native Garden
A native garden is basically just a garden filled with plants that are naturally found growing in your region. For example, honeysuckle is a naturally occurring shrub/bush that grows here in North Carolina, so adding that to your garden this spring/summer would greatly benefit your pollinators!
Also, some bees are what's called "specialists", meaning that they can only feed their larvae the pollen from a specific native plant. So without these plants, the bee colony would not survive.
If you're wanting to attract more hummingbirds, aim for tubular and long shaped blooms with your flower choices.
Color Is Important
Choosing the right colors for your garden is probably something you haven't thought of, in regards to pollinators, but these hard working species are actually attracted to certain colors.
For example, bees LOVE purple and blue flowers. A great option, that we do carry at Garden Valley Market, would be Hydrangeas, Petunias, and Verbena.
If you're wanting to attract Hummingbirds + Butterflies, we recommend colors of red, yellow, pinks, and oranges! Butterflies LOVE Lantana, and Hummingbirds love Petunias, Fuscia, and Lilies!
Provide Water, Food, and Rest
With how hard working these pollinators are, you better believe that they need a place to rest and refuel, and providing these places for them to do so is going to keep them coming back! They all need a place of still water to drink from. You can add some pebbles to a bird bath to make a great landing place for the insects so they won't drown.
Did you know that insecticides actually kill pollinators? So you might be TRYING to kill those pesky bugs eating your plant, but you're actually harming those beautiful butterflies and cute bees in the process. And insecticides are on the reasons that the bee population has decreased to greatly!
So instead of going to insecticides first, try and google some natural alternatives and see if those work first. (There are also great organic options online that are safe for the environment, as well as pets and humans.)
Keep The Weeds
It’s early spring and we’re super excited to get our lawns look fresh and green again… but maybe think twice about removing those dandelions and other weeds growing! Because these weeds are often the first flower that the pollinators source from when not many blooms have started yet! Instead, let them grow a tad until your garden starts coming along.
Let us know how you attract pollinators to your yard by commenting below!