THE PLANT POLLINATORS
by Carole Schwalm
Pollinators like bees, flies, beetles, wasps, butterflies, hummingbirds and the rest of the over-200,000 species of beneficial insects & assorted other friends are crucial to 75% of the world’s plants. This includes home-grown crops like apples, blueberries, squash and tomatoes. However, pollinator populations are declining because of disease, habitat loss and misuse of pesticides.
This year, when planning your gardening area, think of the pollinators by considering some of the following:
- Plant a diversity of blooms, because not all pollinators are attracted to the same thing. They especially like native plants. To find plant listings check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (website address below). Think about the pollinators with short tongues that need open flowers, while those with long tongues enjoy more complex blooms.
- Garden organically!
- Provide cover like a pile of sticks or rocks for their safety from predators. Try to keep the garden in bloom through the growing season.
- Pollinators need places to make nests: low growing plants, shrubs and tall grasses. Plant flowers in clumps.
Bats like white, green or purple flowers; Bees are attracted to blue, bright white, green or purple flowers. Butterflies like bright red and purple. And, hummingbirds: attracted to scarlet, orange, red or white tubular shaped flowers.
Share your pollinating experiences or if you'd like more information.