Pollinators: What's the buzz?

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Pollinators: What's the buzz?

Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of food we eat! Pollinators- butterflies, bees, and moths-also help repopulate plants and add diversity to the environment, making an ecosystem more resilient. Unfortunately, pollinators are in decline. Gardeners are crucial to helping reverse this trend. The simple action of sowing seeds is powerful. It can create habitats that protect and feed pollinators, strengthening their population.

4 P's of Pollinator-Friendly Gardening

Plant flowers: Provide food for pollinators by sowing flowers, especially native varieties.
Plant diversity: Plant a diversity of bloom times, colors, and heights. By staggering bloom times, you provide a reason for pollinators to call your garden home throughout the growing season. Some pollinators are very small and need very small, open flowers in order to access the pollen or nectar. Sow a diversity of flower shapes and sizes, usually simpler (vs. double petal) varieties of flowers work for more species.
Provide water: In your water feature, create small islands with stones where pollinators can land, and climb in and out.
Pass on pesticides: Look for organic ways to block pests, disrupt their life cycle, and invite their predators. Integrated Pest Management (IMP) techniques utilize simpler solutions, such as using a fabric row cover to block pests. Sowing varieties like alyssum or allowing dill to flower, both attract beneficial and predatory insects.

Help Monarch Butterflies

In particular, Monarch butterfly populations have dropped by 90% in recent years. Researchers believe the decline is due to several key factors: milkweed plants are more scarce (a crucial food source for monarch caterpillars), habitat loss including nectar plants for adults, and pesticide use. Monarch butterflies travel an average of 3,000 miles during their annual migration-that takes a lot of energy!

You can increase their habitats by sowing diverse plants that flower specifically during migration. Be sure to include milkweed. Milkweed is the only food plant for monarch caterpillars. Adding native flowering plants will generally provide the highest quality nectar and will the easiest for you to care grow. . Perennials can take a year to flower, unless started indoors very early (10 to 12 weeks before your average last spring frost) and 3 to 5 years to achieve their full size, so integrating some annuals into the mix will provide nectar in the meantime. Deadheading (removing spent blooms) can extend the flowering period of many plants.

Which milkweed is best for my region?
Botanical Interests offers four milkweed varieties: Butterfly Milkweed, Irresistable Blend, Showy, and Common. Check the maps below to find which variety is native to your region.

  • Flowers »
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Butterfly Flower Milkweed Organic Seeds

Vivid, red-orange flowers attract majestic Monarchs and other colorful butterflies. NATIVE.

Item #2021

$ 2.39

Butterfly Flower Milkweed Seeds

Vivid, red-orange flowers attract majestic Monarchs and other colorful butterflies. NATIVE.

Item #1146

$ 1.99

Butterfly Flower Showy Milkweed Seeds

Sweetly scented clusters of star-like flowers provide nectar and habitat for butterflies and their caterpillars. NATIVE

Item #1320

$ 2.39

Calendula Pot Marigold Oopsy Daisy Seeds

As dazzling as sunshine, these unique bi-color blooms will make you smile every time you pass by. Stunning in bouquets!

Item #1313

$ 2.99

Calendula Pot Marigold Resina Organic Seeds

More than just a pretty face! Petals are preferred for making natural fabric dyes. Attracts pollinators.

Item #2042

$ 2.39

Calendula Pot Marigold Zeolights Organic Seeds

An ornamental superstar! Gorgeous, fully double flowers are also edible. Stunning color changes as blossoms mature.

Item #2009

New! $ 2.39

Cardinal Climber HEIRLOOM Seeds

Stunning red tubular flowers and fern-like foliage on a fast growing, easy to grow vine.

Item #1155

$ 1.99

Chocolate Flower Seeds

Colorful, drought tolerant, attracts butterflies, and has the aroma of chocolate! NATIVE.

Item #1198

$ 3.49

Cleome Spider Flower Fountain Blend HEIRLOOM Seeds

Dramatic spikes topped with large stunning flower clusters - a visual feast in the summer garden.

Item #1242

$ 1.79

Columbine Rocky Mountain Blue Seeds

Colorado's state flower provides nectar for hummingbirds and sphinx moths. NATIVE.

Item #1008

$ 1.89

Cosmos Bright Lights Blend HEIRLOOM Seeds

Landing lights for butterflies! Vibrant symmetrial flowers named after the Greek word for "ordered universe".

Item #1049

$ 1.79

Cosmos Candy Stripe Seeds

Markings unique on each flower! A drought tolerant, beautiful cut flower that attracts butterflies!

Item #1147

$ 1.79

Cosmos Double Click Blend Seeds

This award winning, compact, and colorful, double cosmos is a showstopper in the flower garden and in bouquets.

Item #1307

$ 2.99

Cosmos Sea Shells Blend HEIRLOOM Seeds

Ruffled, rolled seashell-like petals dance above delicate foliage, luring butterflies and hummingbirds.

Item #1073

$ 1.79

Cosmos Sensation Blend HEIRLOOM Seeds

A truly sensational blend of charming colors, this cheerful plant delights you with blooms all summer long.

Item #1010

$ 1.69

Cosmos Sensation Blend Organic HEIRLOOM Seeds

A truly sensational blend of charming colors, this cheerful plant delights you with blooms all summer long.

Item #2035

$ 2.69

Cottage Pinks Rainbow Loveliness HEIRLOOM Seeds

Unique lacy petals begin the enchantment, with clouds of intoxicating sweet fragrance.

Item #1280

$ 1.99

Cover Crop Crimson Clover HEIRLOOM Seeds (LG)

90-100 days. A hardworking cover crop for your vegetable garden that fixes nitrogen for improved soil fertility.

Item #7280

$ 2.99

Cover Crop Fava Bean Sweet Lorane Improved Organic Seeds (LG)

30-60 Days. Tall green stalks produce ample nitrogen for improved soil fertility. Attracts beneficial insects too!

Item #7617

$ 4.49

Cypress Vine Funny Valentine Blend HEIRLOOM Seeds

Lovely fernlike foliage and colorful tube-like flowers that flare into a five-pointed star. Excellent screen.

Item #1175

$ 1.99

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