In this month’s installment of Around the Garden Center, we want to talk about “pollinators” and how you can create an inviting environment for them.  They are an integral part of our ecosystem and help keep the color in your outdoor space.

Did you know that pollinating insects prefer different colors and types of blossoms? It’s true, and the relationship between pollinators and flowers has influenced both the evolution of insects and the evolution of flowers. Here are some tips on "who likes what color" from the non-profit Pollinator Partnership:

Butterflies like bright colors including red and purple, and they prefer tubular flowers with a long spur. A good example is annual Salvia, which is bright blue with small tubular flowers on each stalk.  Of course, they also love Butterfly Bush, pictured.

Bees like bright white, yellow or blue flowers with shallow tubular flowers that are highly scented and  offer easy landing. They are attracted to daisies, coneflowers, and other similar flower heads that are actually clusters of hundreds of tiny flowers in the center of the blossom head.  New Jersey Tea, a small native shrub with white flower heads offering many tiny flowers in each cluster, is also a favorite of the bees.

Birds prefer flowers that are white, orange, scarlet or red. Most birds except hummingbirds will need a strong perch on the plant, but they can reach deep into larger tubular or cup shaped flowers to find nectar. In so doing they come away with a face full of pollen that gets transferred to other plants. Great flowers for bird pollinators include Hibiscus, Bellflowers, and Lilies. Hummingbirds of course can also pollinate smaller tubular flowers like Fuscia or Cardinal Flower.

Don’t forget that moths, bats, flies and beetles are also pollinators! They tend to like the darker or duller colors. Some, like beetles, will crawl right inside blossoms like Magnolia or Rose to reach the pollen.

Take some time to check out these pollinator attracting plants and see how you can work them into your garden or outdoor space.  We’d love for you to visit one of our locations and let our friendly associates help you embrace your space.  Come see us today!