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Planting for Pollinators

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Gardening to encourage pollinators allows us to understand and appreciate a part of nature we usually don't notice: the insects. Once you start paying attention, you will find a whole world that is even more complex, fascinating and important than you may have realized. Through simply looking for food, thousands of species of insects (and animals) help plants to reproduce. It has been estimated that roughly 90% of the flowering plants worldwide require an insect or animal to distribute their pollen in order to set fruit and seed. That includes one-third of all crops grown for people, including citrus fruits, almonds, berries, squash and cotton.

Most people know that bees are important pollinators, but that=s not all. Many species of butterflies, bats, birds, moths, flies, wasps, and even mammals are also pollinators. They are so essential to reproduction that much of the world's plant life could not exist without them. Would you like to attract pollinating insects onto your land? Many of these insects are tiny and need very small flowers. Review this fact sheet for the plants, shrubs and trees that will do the best job.

April

Trees

  • Corneliancherry dogwood - Cornus mas
  • Red Maple - Acer Rubrum

Shrubs

  • Mt. Pieris - Pieris floribunda
  • Winter-fragrant honeysuckle - Lonicera fragrantissima

Perennials

  • Virginia bluebells - Mertensia virginica
  • Dandelions

May

Trees

  • Alternate leaf dogwood - Cornus alternifolia
  • American Holly - Ilex opaca
  • Crabapple - Malus spp.
  • Serviceberry - Amelanchier laevis
  • Tupelo - Nyssa sylvatica

Shrubs

  • Bearberry - Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
  • Blueberry - Vaccinium corymbosum
  • Fothergilla - Fothergilla major, F. gardenii
  • Inkberry - Ilex glabra
  • Red-veined Enkianthus - Enkianthus campanulatus
  • Shadbush - Amelanchier canadensis
  • Raspberry - Rubus varieties
  • Redbud - Cercis canadensis
  • Winterberry - Ilex verticillata

Perennials

  • 'May Night' salvia - Salvia 'May Night'
  • Chives - Allium schoenoprasum
  • Columbine - Aquilegia canadensis, Aquilegia hybrids
  • Hardy geranium - Geranium spp. 
  • Mountain bluet - Centaurea montana
  • Ornamental Onions - Allium, various species
  • Moss phlox - Phlox subulata
  • Woodland phlox - Phlox divaricata

June

Trees

  • American linden - Tilia americana
  • Tulip tree - Liriodendron tulipifera
  • Yellowwood - Cladrastis kentuckea

Shrubs

  • Smooth Hydrangea - Hydrangea arborescens

Perennials

  • Beebalm - Monarda didyma
  • Bellflower - Campanula spp. 
  • Borage - Borago officinalis 
  • Catmint - Nepeta spp. 
  • Mountain mint - Monarda punctata
  • Foxglove - Digitalis spp. 
  • Pincushion Flower - Scabiosa caucasica
  • Queen Anne's Lace 
  • Stoke's Aster - Stokesia laevis
  • Thyme - Thymus spp. 
  • Yarrow - Achillea spp. 

July

Trees

  • Goldenrain tree - Koelreuteria paniculata
  • Sourwood - Oxydendrum arboreum

Shrubs

  • Sweet Pepperbush - Clethra alnifolia
  • Ninebark - Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diablo', 'Summer Wine'
  • Panicle hydrangea - Hydrangea paniculata
  • Shining sumac - Rhus coppalina
  • Butterfly bush - Buddleia davidii

Perennials

  • Black eye Susan - Rudbeckia spp.
  • Butterfly weed - Asclepias tuberose
  • Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
  • Coreopsis - Coreopsis grandiflora, C. lanceolata, C. verticillata
  • False sunflower - Heliopsis 'Summer Sun'
  • Gayfeather - Liatris spicata
  • Globe thistle - Echinops ritro
  • Anise hyssop - Agastaches spp.
  • Swamp milkweed - Asclepias incarnate

Herbs

  • Dill
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary

Annuals

  • Calendula
  • Cosmos
  • Mallows
  • Nasturtium
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunflower
  • Verbena bonariensis

August

Shrubs

  • Blue mist shrub - Caryopteris x clandonensis
  • Chaste tree- Vitex spp. 
  • Glossy abelia - Abelia grandiflora

Perennials

  • 'Autumn Joy' Sedium - Sedum spp. 
  • Sneezewood - Helenium autumnale

September

Shrubs

  • Seven-son flower - Heptacodium miconioides

Perennials

  • Golden rod - Solidago spp. 
  • New York ironweed - Veronia novaboracensis

October

Shrubs

  • Witch hazel - Hamamelis virginiana 

Perennials

  • Asters - Aster spp. 'Sheffield Pink' Chrysanthemum
  • Nippon daisy - Chrysanthemum nipponicum
Topics: 
Home Lawn & Garden
Home Lawn and Garden topics: 
Cultural Practices/Fertilizing
Flowers