Pollinators such as butterflies and bees get to fuel up on sweet nectar from flowers. As they feed, pollen sticks to them, and they spread it from flower to flower. This helps the plants make seeds and fruit.
Plants and their pollinators make perfect pairs, but sometimes they need a little help finding each other. Why not create a “pollination station” in your neighborhood where they can meet up? Just plant some of the pollinators’ favorite flowers in your yard or in posts on your patio or balcony.
Pollinators are picky about what plants they will visit, and many plants are picky about where they will grow. It’s always best to choose plants that are native to your area. Here are some tips to help you get your garden growing.
Bees prefer yellow, blue, and purple flowers with lots of nectar and a sweet smell. Examples: mint, thyme, lavender, bee balm.
Hummingbirds go for red, orange, and purple tube-shaped flowers with lots of nectar. No need for a landing pad (they hover) or odor (they don’t have a strong sense of smell). Examples: fuschia, nasturtium, scarlet runner bean, and cardinal flower.
Butterflies like brightly colored flowers (red, orange, yellow, pink, blue) with flat landing pads. Examples: purple cone flower, milkweed, zinnia, cosmos, marigold.
Moths fly at night, so they are attracted to white or pale-colored flowers that are open after dark. Examples: evening primrose, yucca, moon flower.
Many kinds of insects, bats, and birds go from flower to flower in search of nectar to eat. As they do, they carry pollen to make seeds and fruit. Animals that carry pollen are called “pollinators”.
About 100 common fruits, nuts, and vegetables come from plants that bees pollinate. In fact, thousands of different animal species pollinate plants that are important to people.
Like all wild creatures, pollinators need habitat: places where they can find food, shelter, and space to raise their young. People destroy wildlife habitat why they clear land for towns, road, and farms.
Visit LaPorte County Parks website: www.laportecountyparks.org