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.

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Larkspur Sublime Blend Seeds

A superior strain used by professional growers, multi-branched, for fresh & dried arrangements.

Item #1023

$ 1.79

Lavender English Tall HEIRLOOM Seeds

The intoxicating fragrance of lavender has been sought for centuries to lift spirits and freshen the house.

Item #1156

$ 1.89

Lavender Hidcote Dwarf Seeds

Soothe your spirit with the calming fragrance of lavender! This dwarf variety is uniform and compact.

Item #1053

$ 1.89

Lavender Provence Blue Seeds

Get whisked away to a sunny field in Southern France by the heady aroma of this fragrant lavender.

Item #1311

$ 2.39

Linaria Fairy Bouquet HEIRLOOM Seeds

Charm your garden sprites with an abundance of delicate, colorful blossoms that grace the garden all summer.

Item #1269

$ 1.69

Love-In-A-Mist Chocolate and Cream Seeds

The pure white petals with contrasting dark cocoa-colored stamens and seed pods float above whispy green foliage.

Item #1324

New! $ 1.99

Love-In-A-Mist Miss Jekyll Blend HEIRLOOM Seeds

Delightful flowers atop lacy foliage. Dried seed pods are papery, unusual. Great cut flower. Drought tolerant.

Item #1054

$ 1.69

Lupine Russell Blend HEIRLOOM Seeds

Stately lupines always elicit a "wow!". This colorful array of tall flower spikes will take your breath away!

Item #1025

$ 1.99

Marigold French Red Metamorph Organic Seeds

As the temperatures get warmer, the blooms morph from solid burgundy to striped with yellow.

Item #2041

$ 1.99

Out of Stock

Marigold French Favourite Blend Seeds

This bright mix on compact, lacy plants is perfect for borders containers, and will lure butterflies to your garden.

Item #1247

$ 1.99

Marigold French Lemon Drop Seeds

Sunny 1" lemon yellow flowers, great in containers borders and planted in mass.

Item #1068

$ 1.69

Marigold French Naughty Marietta HEIRLOOM Seeds

This award-winning, compact beauty is quick to grow, and low maintenance!

Item #1285

$ 1.79

Marigold Signet Lemon/Tangerine Gems HEIRLOOM Seeds

Brilliant masses of dainty flowers on compact, fragrant plants with lacy foliage. Summer-long color.

Item #1189

$ 1.69

Morning Glory Grandpa Ott's HEIRLOOM Seeds

An old-fashioned variety with stunning color, brought to America from Bavaria in the 1870s.

Item #1154

$ 1.99

Morning Glory Sunrise Blend Seeds

A stunning colorful blend of several varieties. Fast-growing and super in hanging baskets, on fences, and trellises.

Item #1086

$ 1.89

Nasturtium Alaska Variegated HEIRLOOM Seeds

Colorful blooms float above variegated lily pad leaves on compact plants.

Item #1172

$ 1.89

Nasturtium Black Velvet Seeds

Striking, rich ruby blossoms against round, green leaves create a wondrous vision. Contrast with light-colored flowers.

Item #1328

New! $ 2.69

Nasturtium Cherry Rose Jewel Seeds

A profusion of cheery, cherry red, luminous blossoms will delight both your eyes and your palate!

Item #1107

$ 1.89

Nasturtium Fiesta Blend Organic HEIRLOOM Seeds (LG)

An explosion of fiery-colored edible flowers for borders, containers, or a spark of color in your vegetable patch.

Item #7500

$ 5.49

Nasturtium Mahogany Seeds

Glorious, deep red blossoms float atop the contrasting bright green foliage. Edible flowers!

Item #1194

$ 2.39

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