Planting for Pollinators

Creating a garden that attracts pollinators is beneficial to the ecosystem and a fun family activity. Everyone enjoys watching a butterfly light on a flower or a bumblebee lumber from blossom to blossom. Pollinators require specific elements in the landscape to thrive. The basic needs for their survival are
1) a source of water
2) food
3) nesting areas
4) protection

Some pollinators have specific flower relationships while others are generalists that visit many flowers in the border. To provide ample pollen or nectar for pollinators, a landscape must bloom all season long. Consider flowers of varying sizes, colors, shapes, seasonal bloom times and markings. Nectar-producing and pollen-producing flowers must be included.

Native plants and pollinators have a relationship: the plant needs the pollinators for producing seeds while the pollinators need the plants for the food source of nectar and pollen. By inserting native plants into the landscape, homeowners can help re-establish plant communities to span the East Coast. This green corridor of native plants would invigorate the populations of insects, butterflies, birds and other pollinators that play a key role in the health of the environment.

-Peggy Singlemann, Director of Horticulture