Planting for Pollinators!
SPRING IS HERE!
At the request of many people, this post is for those of you who want to plant for the pollinators. (Thank you in advance for supporting pollinators!) Many plants can be beneficial to multiple pollinators. But, it's good to decide which pollinator you want to attract before you begin. Now is the time to start your seed for most of those plants! Also, you can purchase potted nursery stock from a local nursery if you don't want to start plants from seed.
If the pollinator you want to attract is honeybees, then the easiest way to accomplish this is to add white clover to your yard! They love the clover that blooms all summer long. Plus, if you mow the lawn at 3" or 3.5" height, typically the clover flowers are left behind even in a trimmed yard. Secondly, those dandelions is the yard are good for honeybees too. The dandelion pollen is a great summer pollen source for the honeybees. Dandelions maybe weeds to some, but not the honeybee.
If the pollinator you want to attract is butterflies, then consider their lifecycle to promote their habitat. Each type of caterpillar has a required food source for their diet. Monarch caterpillars require milkweed. But, Swallowtail caterpillars eat parsley, dill, fennel, rue, carrots and parsnips. Most that of these plants can be easily grown from seed. But, as a butterfly these species require flowers for nectar. Good species include coneflowers, asters, zinnias, bee balm, cosmos and many more.
If the pollinator you want to attract is native bee species such as the bumblebee, they need pollen from plans such as sunflowers, squash plants, asters, bee balm, mountain mint, Joy Pye Weed, coreopsis and many more.
For more information check out the Xerces Link:https://www.xerces.org/publications/plant-lists/pollinator-plants-mid-atlantic-region
Most importantly remember to provide food source for the whole season, by providing a succession of blooming plants. Native plants can provide the best support for the native pollinators! Plant and enjoy the color of the flowers and the buzz of the pollinators in your yard!