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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Salpiglossis Superbissima Blend HEIRLOOM Seeds

Colors and markings are so unusual you may have to convince your friends these flowers are real. Loves cool weather.

Item #1306

$ 1.89

Salvia Blue Victoria Seeds

Lovely spikes of violet-blue flowers cover this royalty of salvias. Great for containers, cut and dried flowers. NATIVE.

Item #1060

$ 1.89

Salvia Early Bonfire Seeds

A bright beacon of scarlet-red lures butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Perfect for beds and borders.

Item #1295

$ 1.89

Scabiosa Pincushion Flower - Isaac House Blend HEIRLOOM Seeds

A charming, traditional cottage garden beauty with long-stemmed flowers.

Item #1104

$ 2.39

Scabiosa Pincushion Flower Black Knight HEIRLOOM Seeds

Rescue dull flower beds with these long-blooming, deep maroon pincushion flowers. The sweet scent attracts butterflies.

Item #1325

Sale! $ 1.88

Out of Stock

Shasta Daisy Alaska HEIRLOOM Seeds

Classic favorite flower, Alaska is the hardiest of all Shasta daisies.

Item #1013

$ 1.79

Stock Giant Imperial Blend Seeds

This highly fragrant, very tall stock makes a gorgeous backdrop. Florist quality cut flowers.

Item #1199

$ 1.79

Sunflower Autumn Beauty HEIRLOOM Seeds

The beauty of this colorful mix will turn heads! Multi-branched plants means more blossoms.

Item #1037

$ 1.79

Sunflower Drop Dead Red Seeds (LG)

A florist's dream and a gardener's delight! Long-lasting, cut flower quality, & pollenless for spotless tabletops!

Item #7204

$ 5.49

Sunflower Dwarf Elves Blend Organic Seeds

Delightful, sparkling yellow large blooms on multi-branched short plants are ideal for containers and small gardens!

Item #2024

$ 2.39

Sunflower Dwarf Sunspot Organic Seeds

A big spot of sunshine on a small plant! Blossoms up to 10" make fantastic cut flowers.

Item #2014

$ 1.89

Sunflower Dwarf Teddy Bear Seeds

Loads of fuzzy, golden yellow blossoms on sturdy, dwarf plants. Perfect height for kids to grow!

Item #1038

$ 1.79

Sunflower Evening Sun Organic HEIRLOOM Seeds

Fiery, sunset hues make dazzling cut flowers and an enticing treat for birds.

Item #2007

$ 2.39

Sunflower Flash Blend Organic HEIRLOOM Seeds

This mix has it all - a fabulous assortment of brilliant colors with a flash of white!

Item #2001

$ 2.39

Sunflower Florist's Sunny Bouquet Seeds (LG)

Bring a big burst of sunshine to your garden. Florists favor these pollenless hybrids for excellent cut flower quality.

Item #7205

$ 5.49

Sunflower Goldy Honey Bear Organic Seeds

Capture rays of sunshine and plant them in your garden with these magnificent, fully double, radiant beauties!

Item #2016

$ 2.99

Sunflower Lemon Queen Organic HEIRLOOM Seeds

Like a beacon of light attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to her sunny yellow flowers.

Item #2027

$ 1.89

Sunflower Mammoth Grey Stripe HEIRLOOM Seeds

The magnificent flower of this towering plant is 1-foot across!

Item #1039

$ 1.79

Sunflower Mammoth Russian Organic HEIRLOOM Seeds

Towering in the garden, the tall plants produce a single, magnificent flower reaching 1' across.

Item #2019

$ 1.99

Sunflower Mexican Torch HEIRLOOM Seeds

Unabashedly brilliant orange and as hot and fiery as August sunshine! Easy to grow and a great cut flower!

Item #1118

$ 1.89

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