How to Create a Pollinator-Friendly Garden
Pollinators are animals and insects that help plants reproduce by transporting genetic material between them. Butterflies and bees are the most recognizable, but many other creatures pollinate plants, including birds and ants!
If you want to improve the health of your plants and enjoy the natural beauty of pollinators, here are some tips for making a garden they will enjoy.
What Should I Plant?
In order to make a home for pollinators, you will need 2 types of plant: nectar sources and larval hosts.
Nectar is a sweet, energy-rich liquid that attracts pollinators. Common plants that produce nectar include Aster, Columbine, False Indigo and Yarrow.
Butterflies need host plants to lay their eggs. When the caterpillars emerge, they will eat the plant, so understand it might need replanted every few seasons, depending on how many butterflies your garden attracts.
Although it is not flashy like many decorative flowers, Milkweed is a common and effective choice for attracting monarch butterflies. Other common host plants include Parsley, Cabbage, Broccoli, Clover, Violets and Asters.
A Comfortable Space for Pollinators
Pollinating insects are cold-blooded. Place your pollinator plants in the sun and incorporate rock features to absorb heat and provide a warm place for them to rest.
Place your plants in an area guarded from the wind. Use a fence or building to keep the insects from being disturbed.
Butterflies love thick foliage. Groups of plants provide shade and protection from birds.
Have a source of water present. Insects will make use of a bird bath or decorative pond.
Lastly, pesticide chemicals are often dangerous to animal life, and even more so to pollinating insects. Try to use natural methods to keep pests away without harming the creatures you want in your garden.
What Difference Will I Make?
Many pollinating insects are at risk of becoming endangered due to disappearing habitat. Creating an oasis for pollinators will allow these animals and insects to thrive in your community. They add natural beauty to your surroundings and improve the health of your decorative plants and food crops.
We hope you use this guide to increase the health and beauty of your garden this spring.
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