Attracting Garden Pollinators is vital for both native plants and vegetable plots to increase flowering and fruiting. Pollinators visit the plants in your landscape, sharing pollen from plant to plant and aiding in the reproductive cycle.
In this post about attracting pollinators to your garden I will summarize information from pollinator.org and my own knowledge about the best way to attract pollinators to your garden, be they bees, butterflies, birds, flies, or moths. Future posts will suggest specific plants to attract your pollinators of choice here in the greater Prescott area.
As with all living organisms, pollinators need food sources, shelter, and water to survive in any habitat. Your garden habitat will be most attractive to pollinators if you consider:
- Food Sources should include nectar, pollen and host plants upon which larvae feed. Incorporating a wide variety of plants with differing bloom seasons, sizes, shapes, flower colors and flower structures helps to:
- Ensure food sources from early spring to late fall
- Attract and support the greatest variety of pollinators
- Ensure pollination efficiency
- Shelter should be available which provides protection from predators and the elements, and which offers nesting sites and materials.
- A natural canopy of trees, taller shrubs and perennials provide protection
- Dead snags and plants as well as leaf litter provide homes for many insects
- Bee boxes attract solitary bees
- Water should be available at different heights throughout the garden.
- Supply clean water at reliable intervals so pollinators develop the habit of returning to your garden habitat
- Provide shallow water containers with sloping sides or with pebbles or marbles which provide perching surfaces for pollinators preventing the drowning typical in deeper bird baths
- Provide shallow mud puddles or “muddles” for butterflies to safely land upon to extract moisture from the mud
For greatest positive impact on the pollinators you attract, eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides in your garden.
It’s easy and fun to enjoy Attracting Garden Pollinators!