Updated: Sep 28, 2021
If you’ve been spending time outside in the garden this summer, you’ve surely been excited to see flowers blossoming, hear the birds chirping, and spot some honey or bumble bees foraging!
Perhaps, if you’re a bit of an entomologist at heart, you’ve spotted other species of bees and pollinating insects.
Many of our local wildlife species, especially the smaller ones, are important pollinators. As they visit plants to collect nectar, they pick up bits of pollen and take it with them to the next plant, thus fertilizing those flowers and allowing them to bare fruits and seeds. This is not only needed for native plants: over 80% of the fruit, vegetables and grains that we eat require pollination by insects.
Unfortunately, there is substantial evidence of large-scale declines of wild pollinators in North America and elsewhere.
But, all hope is not lost!
Ecological gardening practices and native plants support pollinators!
Origin Native Plants has developed the Pollinator Plus Garden Combo with nine cornerstone species for your pollinator garden. They provide
pollen and nectar across the growing season to bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, and hummingbirds of many species.
Our pollinator garden combo includes…
Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), a species of wild onions that produce a crown of lavender-colored flowers at the top of long and graceful stems. They attract sweet bees, bumblebees, honeybees, and butterflies.
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) grows up to 2 feet tall and has showy red and yellow drooping flowers. These are great attractants of hummingbirds, native bees, bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies, and moths.
Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) produce flat-topped clusters of bright-orange flowers at the top of 1 ½ to 2 feet stems. They are visited by butterflies, native bees, honeybees, flies, beetles, and wasps. (Photo left)
Spiked Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) has slender stems that end in a showy cluster of rose-purple (sometimes white), closely set flower heads, reaching a height of 3 to 4 feet. They attract butterflies, native bees, including bumblebees, and beetles. (Photo at top)
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) will grow up to 6 feet and have small bright red flowers that grow in loose clusters at the top of the tall stems. Cardinal Flower depends on hummingbirds, which feed on the nectar, for pollination. (Photo right).
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is a popular and showy perennial that grows clusters of lavender, pink or white flowers that look like ragged pompoms atop 2 to 5 feet stems. They are visited by hummingbirds, bumblebees, and other native bees.
Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digtalis) grows up to 5 feet tall, with stalked clusters of pretty white, tubular flowers. They attract hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, bumblebees, and other native bees. (Photo left)
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) grow to 6 or more feet tall and have bright, purple flowers with orange-yellow centers that bloom at the ends of the leafy branches. Butterflies and all species of bees will be attracted to their flowers.
Joe-pye Weed (Eutrochium fistulosum) can grow up to 7 feet tall, or taller in soils that are moist throughout the season! They produce huge, domed flower heads that are composed of many branches bearing tiny lavender florets. They are very popular with pollinators, especially bees and butterflies.
All native plants offer value to pollinators and our local ecosystems. The plants that we have curated to create the pollinator plant combo are an exceptional selection for supporting pollinators because the combination provides flowers throughout the growing season. With this selection, there will always be something flowering for the pollinating insects and hummingbirds Also a wide range of colors that will attract a range of insects.
The variety in heights will allow you to distribute them in your garden in aesthetically pleasing arrangements, for yourself, and perhaps, for your pollinating friends!
The plants thrive in moist or average soil moisture conditions, and flower abundantly when planted in open, sunny areas. When planted with a spacing of 1 to 1 ½ ft tall, these plants together will cover 9 to 12 square feet at maturity.
If you are passionate about pollinators, and want to support biodiversity, this is a great place to start: we’ve done all the thinking for you!
For more information or to order, please see visit our shop or: https://www.originnativeplants.com/product-page/pollinators-plus
Have you spotted any interesting pollinators on your property this summer? We’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comments below.