Creating a pollinator garden in your backyard is a great way to support pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and add beauty to your outdoor space. Flowers that have evolved specifically to attract pollinators typically have developed at least one of two main ways of signaling to the birds and bees that they're open for business. Many have bright, showy flowers meant to attract the eye, while others emit a heavenly aroma to lure pollinators — and some do both.
Here are some steps you can take to create a pollinator garden in your backyard:
Choose a sunny location
Most pollinators need sunlight to thrive, so make sure to choose a location in your backyard that gets plenty of sunlight.
Select the Right Plants
Choose plants that bloom at different times throughout the growing season to provide a continuous food source for pollinators. Some good options include native plants, herbs, and flowering annuals and perennials.
Examples of flowers that are particularly effective at attracting pollinators include:
By having a variety of flowers blooming at different times, you can attract a wider range of pollinators to your garden. For example, hummingbirds are attracted to red and orange tubular flowers, while bees are attracted to a wider range of flowers, including daisies and sunflowers. Additionally, by providing a diverse array of flowers for pollinators, you can help support the overall health and diversity of the local ecosystem. For example, if a particular species of plant is lost due to disease or other factors, the loss can be absorbed by the other species in the ecosystem, preventing a ripple effect that could have negative consequences for the entire ecosystem.
Provide a Source of Fresh, Clean Water
Pollinators need water to survive, so consider adding a birdbath or small pond to your garden.
Use Organic Gardening Practices
Avoid using pesticides and other chemicals in your garden, as they can harm pollinators. Instead, use organic methods to control pests and diseases.
Provide Nesting Sites
Pollinators, particularly bees, need places to nest. Consider adding a bee house or creating a small, bare patch of ground for ground-nesting bees.
Share your pollinator garden with your friends and neighbors, and consider hosting a workshop or presentation to teach others about the importance of pollinators and how they can create their own pollinator gardens.
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