How to Create a Beautiful Pollinator Garden for Butterflies and Bees
One of the best things about gardening is bringing beneficial wildlife to your yard, especially pollinators. Bees and butterflies may first come to mind, but many other insects such as moths, wasps, and beetles also help plants make fruits and seeds by transferring pollen from flower to flower. Most of these creatures don't sting, so you don't need to worry about that when welcoming nature into your garden (if you are allergic to stings, then of course you do need to be more careful). However, not just any plant will attract pollinators to your yard; you need to include species with plenty of nectar-rich flowers. The more of these plants you have in your garden, the more you'll be able to enjoy butterflies and other fascinating insects.
Best Types of Plants for Pollinators
Besides perennials and annuals, many vines, shrubs, and even trees produce flowers that draw pollinators. Plants with brightly colored flowers, usually oranges, reds, and yellows seem to be the most attractive to bees and other flying insects. Some of the best types of flowers for pollinators have an open or flat shape, allowing for easier access to pollen and nectar.
To get you started, look for these plants to add to your garden. They are known for being extremely attractive to all kinds of pollinators.
1 Black-Eyed Susan
2 Butterfly Bush
Pollinator Garden Planting Tips
Helping out your local pollinators is about more than just the plants you choose. Follow these tips to maximize your garden's support of these essential insects.
Arrange Pollinator Plants in Groups
Plant at least three to five types of pollinator plants together, layering them throughout the garden. You'll get beautiful drifts of color, plus insects will more easily be able to gather the food they need from them.
Keep Blooms Deadheaded
Freshly opened flowers have the most nectar and pollen. If you remove withered, faded blooms, the plants often will produce even more new flowers to keep the pollinators coming.
Try a Container
Another way to create a pollinator garden is to plant one in a container. Be sure that the plants you're putting together in pots have similar care needs.
Don't Use Pesticides
Be sure to skip using insecticides because they often kill pests as well as the insects you want to have around. If you need to control plant-eating bugs, try using a strong jet of water from your hose to knock them off or hand-picking them off instead.
Another thing that pollinators need is a water source, such as a birdbath. Put a small pebble or stone in your birdbath to give insects a spot to safely perch and sip.