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How to Create a Garden to Attract Pollinators

How to Create a Garden to Attract Pollinators

Pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are an essential part of our ecosystem. They help to create and preserve the habitats that many animals rely on for food and shelter.

Creating a garden using plants that attract butterflies and other pollinators is mutually beneficial to both your garden and the pollinator – they help your plants reproduce, and your plants provide them with nutrition they need to thrive.

We’ll show you some of the best flowers for different types of pollinators and give you some tips for outfitting your garden or outdoor area to attract them.

Skill Level: Beginner
  1. Step 1 Choose Flowers that Attract Pollinators

    Choose Flowers that Attract Pollinators

    Choosing the right plants is essential in attracting hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Aptly named Butterfly bushes and Bee Balm flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds and bees with their fragrant flowers. Other great options are Black-eyed susans – which are easy to grow, Milkweed which is a great plant to grow in the early spring, and Lavender, which smells great and is a favourite for bees. Choosing plants that bloom all year round will help keep your pollinating visitors healthy and happy throughout the year.

  2. Step 2 Choose a Pollinator to Attract

    Choose a Pollinator to Attract

    If you’re looking to attract a specific kind of pollinator, here are some tips to follow:

    Butterfly gardens with large areas of flowers that are easy to see from far away, especially in colours like red, orange, yellow and pink are sure to attract them. They like flat-headed flowers, as they’re easier to land on.

    If you’re wondering how to attract hummingbirds, they love nectar, so hanging a feeder full of a mixture of one part refined table sugar to four parts boiling water next to flowering plants should do the trick. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see them right away though, as it may take time for them to discover your feeder. Once they do however, they’ll be back again and again. Bird baths and water features like small fountains are also great for attracting pollinators.

    The best flowers for bees are plants like crocus, zinnias and different types of wildflowers. They’re all very bee-friendly flowers. Bees will also drink from your water features, so be sure to have some water at the ready in your garden.

  3. Step 3 Plant Flowers and Plants in Accessible Areas

    Plant Flowers and Plants in Accessible Areas

    Once you’ve selected the flowers you’re going to use, you’ll need a place to plant them. Making them accessible is key in successfully attracting pollinators, so you’ll want to choose a good planter and location.

    For hummingbirds, it’s nice to give them something to perch on like a nearby twig, coat hanger or clothesline. Bees and butterflies perch on the flowers they drink from, so you’ll be good there.

  4. Step 4 No Garden, No Problem!

    No Garden, No Problem!

    If your garden is smaller or you don’t have one, you can still provide food for pollinators. Consider planting in containers, or in window boxes and hanging planters. This will allow your pollinator guests to easily find the flowers and get their nutrients.

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