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National Pollinator Week is this week (June 20-26, 2022). It’s a week-long campaign to raise awareness about the importance of these beneficial creatures. Tracy Black from Pike Nurseries is here to tell us more about pollinators and why they’re so important to our gardens.
What are pollinators & why are they so important?
- Pollinators are butterflies, moths, bees, birds, bats and other critters that help move pollen from flower to flower. This is necessary for fertilization and successful seed and crop production. Important for ornamental plants AND food crops.
- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture says about 35% of the world’s food crops exists because of animal pollinators.
- Without these critters, humans and animals would face food shortages. But it’s also a domino effect: without pollinators there are fewer plants which means carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases (global warming).
How do we help pollinators & attract them to our yard?
- Let’s start with host plants -- Butterflies lay their eggs on host plants
- When eggs hatch, the caterpillars will eat the host plants before creating their chrysalis
- Examples: dill, parsley, milkweed (asclepias), and fennel
- Then, add nectar-rich plants for butterflies & hummingbirds
- These flowers are cone or trumpet shaped since they hold the most nectar.
- Examples: lantana, salvia, and butterfly bush
- Next, add pollen-rich plants for bees, ladybugs, and more
- These flowers tend to be more wide or flat – a good landing pad for bees, etc.
- Examples: coneflowers, bee balm, yarrow, and rudbeckia
Is color important for attracting pollinators?
- Yes – pollinators like bright colors they can easily see from the sky. Be sure to plant different colored flowers to attract a mix of pollinators.
- Butterflies like yellow, orange, and red
- Hummingbirds like red and purple
- Bees like purple and blue
For more information visit one of our 4 Charlotte area stores, or go online to pikenursery.com