Keep Pollinators Around All Season Long

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you have probably picked up on the fact that I’m a big fan of pollinator-friendly landscaping. Pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds are responsible for reproduction in many of our favorite landscape and food plants, and they’re fun to watch. Nothing says “summer” to me like watching a garden buzzing with all kinds of pollinators. But summer isn’t the only season these critters are out and about, and one of the keys to ensuring that they maintain healthy populations is to make sure that we’re planting pollinator-friendly plants for the full season.

In a previous post I shared lists of some well-loved plants to attract specific types of pollinators. Today I’m going to take a slightly different approach and focus on providing food for wildlife from spring through fall. With the help of these charts (click on any to view larger), you can make sure you have something on hand for pollinators all year long. All plants marked with an asterisk are native to Indiana, or at least one species of the group is native to Indiana.

Perennials

click to view larger

Perennials are popular for attracting pollinators because they have a lot of color, decently long bloom seasons, and they get the pollinators right at a good level to watch them, if that’s something to enjoy. This chart is color-coded with the most common bloom color for each plant, but some of them come in a range of colors with different species and varieties. In the trees and shrubs on the next chart, since so many flowering trees and shrubs have white or cream-colored

Trees and shrubs

click to view larger

Trees and shrubs may not bloom for as long as perennials, and they aren’t a huge help for late season foragers, but they typically have perennials beat in terms of providing early season food for pollinators. Some quick notes about the two shrubs that appear to have a much longer bloom time. Witchhazels come in two categories: very late-season bloomers that bloom from November into early January, and very early-season bloomers that start later in January and bloom until early March. There are a handful of viburnum species and hybrids that are popular in the landscape, and they have overlapping bloom times that stretch from early spring to early summer. There isn’t any one viburnum species that blooms for four months straight, so if you’re trying to fill a specific month, you’ll want to check the bloom time for the different varieties.

Want to know more about supporting pollinators? Pollinator Partnership is a non-profit dedicated to providing people with information, tips, support, and a way to register your pollinator-friendly garden and see all the other registered landscapes across the country and around the world. We are also always happy to design pollinator-friendly landscapes like this one in Greencastle, as well as being happy to maintain and advise on pollinator-friendly spaces.

Recommended Posts