Home Gardening Articles About HGSA Member Activities
 
GARDENING ARTICLES

ABOUT HGSA

MEMBER ACTIVITIES

HOME

PRIORITY: POLLINATORS   print version

Honeybees have been disappearing in record numbers. And they are not the only pollinators that are imperiled. Some butterflies and native bees have experienced significant population declines also, says Eric Mäder, Assistant Pollinator Program Director for the Xerces Society.


Visit www.bringbackthepollinators.org and sign the Pollinator Protection Pledge.  You can also order a Pollinator Habitat sign for your garden.


It was just a few years ago that homeowners were asking what they could plant that would not attract bees. Now, the question is more likely to be, “How can I attract bees and other pollinators to my garden?”

Pollinators are a diverse and fascinating group of invertebrates, and we have them to thank for beautiful blooming meadows, juicy summer berries, bountiful vegetable gardens, and colorful pumpkins and gourds.

The Home Garden Seed Association, inspired by the conservation work of the Xerces Society, encourages all home gardeners to help the cause of pollinator protection by planting more flowers, an important food resource for all kinds of bees and butterflies. Every flower border, bed, and windowbox helps!

Providing patches of flowers is one thing we can do to improve the environment for pollinators.” The Xerces Society

FACTS

  • Flowers clustered in clumps of at least four feet in diameter are more attractive to pollinators than scattered individual flowers.
  • A succession of flowering plants that lasts from spring through fall will support a range of bee species.
  • Flowers of different shapes will attract different types of pollinators.
  • Pesticides are a major threat to insect pollinators.
  • The value, in dollars, pollinators’ services to our food business is estimated to be upwards of $4 billion—nothing to sneeze at!

How to Grow a Pollinator Garden from Seed

Now is the time to plan for a bounty of pollen plants that will help pollinators in your region thrive from spring through fall.

Early spring: Where winters are cold, pollinators rely on blooming trees in spring, but early-blooming flowering plants provide additional resources.

Late spring through summer: Choices abound! Many pollinator favorites are annuals that can be easily, and inexpensively, grown from seed.
Late summer into fall: Sunflowers, agastache, herbs, and marigolds supplement late blooming perennials in sustaining pollinators into the fall.

Bee and Butterfly Plants You Can Grow Easily from Seed

Early-Blooming Pollinator Plants  (Bloom time may differ, depending on location)

Alyssum (Lobularia)
Baby blue eyes (Nemophila)
Bishop’s flower (Ammi)
Cal. poppy (Eschscholzia)
Cerinthe
Clarkia
Clover (Trifolium)
Dianthus
Larkspur (Consolida)
Lupine (Lupinus)
Osteospermum
Parsley (Petroselinum)
Pea (Lathyrus)
Poppy (Papaver)
Viola

Mid-Season Pollinator Plants

Chives (Allium)
Asclepias
Bachelor’s button (Centaurea)
Basil (Ocimum)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Blanketflower (Gaillardia)
Borage (Borago)
Mustards (Brassica)
Calendula
Cilantro (Coriandrum)
Coneflower (Echinacea)
Cosmos
Dill (Anethum)
Feverfew (Chrysanthemum)
Lavender (Lavendula)
Lovage (Levisticum)
Wallflower (Erysimum)
Monarda
Phacelia (Phacelia)
Portulaca
Squash, Pumpkin (Cucurbita)
Thyme (Thymus)
Tickseed (Coreopsis)
 

Late-Blooming Pollinator Plants

Agastache
Amaranth (Amaranthus)
Cleome
Dahlia
Marigold (Tagetes)
Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)
Salvia
Scabiosa
Sunflower (Helianthus)
Zinnia

 Home Garden Seed Association (HGSA) | P.O. Box 93, Maxwell, CA 95955 | Phone (530) 438-2126 | Email Us