The Benefits of Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden

With spring in the air, now is a good time for us to sit down to talk about the birds and the bees.

Pollinators are important! Bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies, and birds are essential to agriculture. Because of disease and our increased use of herbicides and pesticides, farmers are experiencing reduced crop yields which in turn impacts every single thing we eat and most of what we wear.

bee

The good news is, each of us can help by planting to attract these important pollinators to our yards! And, these blooms are as beautiful as they are beneficial. medicine20 Another bonus, birds eat mosquitos and other pesky insects, so we can rely less on artificial and toxic pesticides. Winwinwin!

Some of My Favorite Pollinator Captivators

Attract hummingbirds with tubular flowers, especially those in tones of red, orange, blue or purple:

  • Weigela shrub (blooms in May when hummingbirds are migrating north)
  • Lobelia (perennial – choose red blooms)
  • Fragrant flowering tobacco plants (an annual that blooms all summer)
  • Beebalm (perennial – choose red blooms)

Attract bluebirds and other thrushes, robins, and thrashers with:

  • Dogwood (berries ripen from summer to fall)
  • Elderberry (berries ripen mid-to-late summer and fall)
  • Juniper (birds usually wait to eat berries until winter when other options are slim)
  • Shadbush (aka serviceberry and Juneberry)
  • Viburnum (berries appear in fall)
  • Crabapple trees

butterfly

Attract butterflies with:

  • Milkweed, Milkweed, Milkweed! Monarch populations are imperiled. The species’ caterpillars only eat milkweed and adult butterflies will only lay eggs on this plant.
  • Zinnias (annuals)
  • Purple coneflower (perennial)
  • Joe Pye Weed (butterflies love its nectar)
  • Bee Balm (attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds!)
  • Switch grass (butterflies and skippers lay their eggs here)
  • Goldenrod (attracts bees and dozens of butterfly species)