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Three Tips to Attract Pollinators to your Garden

Larry Shapira, Merrifield Plant Specialist & Professor Emeritus NVCC

Gardening connects us to nature and gives us an opportunity to enjoy and experience America’s number one hobby. With the right plant selections, you can attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators for the duration of the growing season.

Here are three tips to attract pollinators

  1. Select a diversity of plants that have a variety of flower shapes, colors and sizes
  2. Choose plants that flower at different times to provide pollen or nectar for the entire growing season
  3. Plant in clumps rather than single plants to better attract pollinators

A few of my favorite pollinators are:

Butterfly bush (Buddleia): A.K.A. Summer Lilac. Hardy, vigorous shrub for sunny locations. Fast grower. Blooms mid-summer. Pink, white, lilac, blue, or purple flowers

Lantana  Grows as a summer annual. Blooms all summer; many varieties, often bi-colored. Very attractive to hummingbirds. Full sun.

Coneflower (Echinacea). Easy-to-grow perennial that grows in clumps. Showy flowers are white, crimson, or purple. New introductions include yellows and oranges. Summer blooming.

Aster (Aster x frikartii). Widely-adapted perennial that blooms late summer. Prolific bloomer with lavender to blue-violet flowers. Full sun.

Bee Balm (Monarda). A reliable, old-fashioned, summer-blooming perennial. Flowers range from scarlet to white or pink. Very showy.

Finally, not only is planting to attract pollinators a great way to assist nature, it is also a fun way to get children involved in gardening!