Go native during national gardening week
Happy National Gardening Week. ATC encourages you to get your hands dirty and plant some pollinator-friendly plants this week!
What exactly are pollinator-friendly plants? They can be flowering plants, trees and shrubs that provide nutrient-rich nectar or serve as host plants for caterpillars. Native plants, however, are the most important ones since pollinators co-evolved with native plants. With native pollinator populations in decline, you can help by planting a few native pollinator-friendly plants in your yard.
If you want to plant for pollinators, think in threes.
- Plant a minimum of 3 varieties of flowering plants to ensure you attract several pollinator species. Common spiderwort is a favorite of bees, while the Turk’s cap lily is favored by hummingbirds and butterflies. Attractive to bees, butterflies and birds are columbine, coneflowers, blazing stars and lupine.
- Aim for blooms across 3 seasons – spring, summer and fall. Be sure to include milkweed for summer as monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on their leaves. Butterfly weed with its bright orange flowers, is a great choice.
- Use at least 3 types of native plants in your landscape. Include flowers, woody plants (e.g., New Jersey tea) and grasses (e.g., little bluestem),to provide forage, cover and places to raise young.
For more suggestions, visit atc-GrowSmart.com. You can also view or print our Grow Smart Planting Guide or Grow Smart Pollinator Guide and bring it to your local garden center.