When planting a pollinator garden, keep in mind that pollinators need food during the entire growing season. Although some species live only a few weeks, different species become active at different times of the year. In other words, something must be in flower at all times throughout the spring, summer, and fall if you want to have a varied and continuous supply of visitors. Here are some tips for a successful pollinator garden.
- The wider the variety of flowers you plant, the wider the variety of pollinators you will attract. Different pollinators are attracted to different plant features, so give them plenty of options.
- Choose flowers of different colors. Bees are particularly fond of blue, purple, violet, white, and yellow. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, like the reds.
- Flowers planted in clumps of like-kind tend to attract more pollinators than scattered mixtures.
- Plant flowers of different shapes. Pollinators have an amazing variety of tongue lengths, mouths sizes, body sizes, and taste preferences. Flowers of various geometries attract a wider selection of pollinators.
- Highly selected hybrids often have less nectar than heirloom varieties. Stick with heirlooms or native varieties, when possible.
- Plants in the sun attract more pollinators than plants in the shade.
- Sheltered plants are more favored than plants that thrash in the wind.
- Have a source of mud readily available. Certain bees, such as mason bees, use it for sealing their nests.
- Skip the pesticides—not good for them, not good for you.