Planting for Pollinators
A great way to celebrate pollinators this month is to plant host plants and nectar plants for pollinators in your yard or school gardens. But planting flowers isn't the only way to encourage pollinators. Here are some tips: Go Native. Pollinators are “best” adapted to local, native plants, which often need less water than ornamentals. Check out the list of native NH plants in the image above. Bee Bountiful. Plant big patches of each plant species (better foraging efficiency.) Bee Showy. Flowers should bloom in your garden throughout the growing season. Plant willow, currant, and Oregon grape for spring and aster, rabbit brush and goldenrod for fall flowers. Bee Diverse. Plant a diversity of flowering species with abundant pollen and nectar and specific plants for feeding butterfly and moth caterpillars. Bee Chemical Free. Pesticides and herbicides kill pollinators. Bee Homey. Make small piles of branches to attach chrysalis or cocoons. Provide hollow twigs, rotten logs with wood-boring beetle holes and bunchgrasses and leave stumps, old rodent burrows, and fallen plant material for nesting bees. Leave dead or dying trees for woodpeckers. Bee Sunny. Provide areas with sunny, bare soil that’s dry and well-drained, preferably with south-facing slopes. Bee Aware. Observe pollinators when you walk outside in nature. Notice which flowers attract bumble bees or solitary bees, and which attract butterflies. Bee a little messy. Most of our native bee species (70%) nest underground so avoid using weed cloth or heavy mulch. Bee Friendly. Create pollinator friendly gardens both at home, at schools and in public parks. Help people learn more about pollinators and native plants.