Vermont Garden Journal: Attracting Pollinators To Your Garden

Jun 16, 2016

Pollinators like honey bees and Monarch butterflies play an important role in our food system and ecosystem. It's a good idea to find ways to attract pollinators to your garden. Here are some tips that will bring more bees, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden this summer:

Choose pollinator friendly plants

Wildflowers and heirloom varieties of popular flowers are great choices.  Some modern hybrid flowers may be attractive and have good characteristics but they aren't the best for pollinators.

Plant a variety of early, mid and late season perennial flowers

Also mix in trees, shrubs and annuals to provide a supply of nectar and pollen. Remember butterfly larvae will need their own special plants such as borage, fennel, milkweed and nettle.

Let some plants go to flower

Try letting your fennel, cilantro, and dill go to flower each year for native pollinators in our garden. Native shrubs and trees such as willow, linden, and lilac are great additions as well. You'll also need to reduce or eliminate pesticide sprays in the garden.

Provide areas for shelter and nesting

Leave old snag trees, piles of branches and meadow areas intact. Set up nesting boxes for bees and bats. Also, make sure the pollinators have a source of water such as a bird bath or even a muddy puddle area.