Pollinators are under increasing stress due to habitat loss, invasive species, diseases, pesticides and climate change. Following are some tips on how you can help pollinators thrive in your garden.
- Plant Native: Choose native plants, trees and shrubs rich in pollen and nectar.
- Mass Plantings: Large groups of plants make it easier for pollinators to find and collect food.
- Plant Single Bloom Varieties: The petals of double or triple bloom varieties can block access to pollen and nectar.
- Provide Continuous Bloom: Pollinators need a continuous source of pollen from spring to fall.
- Plant Host Plants: Butterflies lay their eggs on specific plants, the sole food source for their larva.
- Provide Water: A bird bath with half-submerged rocks can help pollinators quench their thirst.
- Prune and Deadhead: Remove dead flower heads to encourage new growth and a longer flowering season.
- Reduce Mowing: To avoid disturbing ground nesting bees, mow your lawn less often.
- Avoid Pesticides: Avoid plants/seeds treated with systemic insecticides, such as neonicotinoids.
- Leave Dead Stems: Some bees hibernate and lay eggs in hollow stems.
- Leave the Leaves: Rake them onto gardens to provide overwintering habitat for butterflies.
Submitted by Lorraine Kuepfer