Save the bees and plant a Pollinator Perennial garden today!
Creating a garden filled with pollinator perennials will establish much-needed habitats and food sources for bees and butterflies. The extensive color variations of pollinator perennials will not only attract the envy of your neighbors, but pollinators such as birds, butterflies, and bees.
Unlike Annuals that need to be replanted every year, Perennials rebloom. This makes them perfect for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance garden that will shine year after year.
Perennials love to bask in the sun all day long and prefer well-drained soils. They love moist soil and damp surroundings; a dripping hose or birdbath will do just the trick! In addition, water regularly until the plant is established, and then weekly to maintain moisture not provided by the birdbath.
It is best to choose native perennials; plants that have adapted to your climate and soil conditions will yield the best results. Butterflies are fascinated by red, orange, yellow, pink, and purple blooms, while bees prefer blue, purple, white, and yellow for their nectar sources.
Pollinator Perennials are most effective when planted in groups. A variety of pollinator plants provide these critters with an even more enticing smorgasbord of nectar and pollen to feast on throughout the summer.
The most important thing to keep in mind when planning your pollinator garden is to avoid modified plants. With cultivars, plant breeders created the perfect bloom for gardeners at the expense of pollen, nectar, and fragrance. While beautiful, said cultivars do not invite pollinators to your garden.
Low maintenance goes beyond fertilization and watering with these plants. In a pollinator garden, it is actually preferred to leave the occasional fallen limb or foliage. These quickly become nesting areas for bees. Be sure to establish some sort of protection for those walking by!
Similarly, butterflies prefer natural compost and organic materials. Lay some leftover fruits at the base of the plant and butterflies are sure to follow. It is important, however, to remove intruding weeds that could threaten the Perennial’s nutrient supply.
Pesticides are extremely dangerous for bees, so avoid them whenever possible. If you choose to use pesticides, opt for less-toxic versions and spray at night when pollinators are not around.
Here are a few of our favorite Pollinator Perennials that are blooming now and ready for you to pick up at Patuxent Nursery:
Popular for their profound fragrance, these compact plants are a great addition to your perennial garden. Their intense light purple blooms make the Lavender Provence perfect for wild landscapes. While preferring well-drained but wet soil, they are able to withstand rock gardens and dry climates. Cut and dry their blooms to bring the fragrance of the Lavender Province inside.
Dianthus Bath’s Pink
This evergreen perennial will blanket your garden with a plethora of airy pink flowers held up by grayish-green stems. Perfect border or cottage garden but can thrive even in rock gardens. No-fuss and fragrant, the Dianthus Bath’s Pink prefers full sun and well-drained soils. They can handle higher heat and humidity, but cannot stand overly soggy sites.
Deer Resistant Perennials
Echinacea ‘PowWow’ Wild Berry
These classic showstoppers bloom in summer and with purplish-pink flowers that last through the fall and never fade. They are highly adaptable and low maintenance but perform best in well-drained soil with lots of nutrients. While they tolerate moderate drought, it is recommended to water weekly to maintain moist soil throughout its extensive root system.
Echinacea ‘PowWow’ White
This version of Echinacea is equally as low maintenance as its Wild Berry cousin. They too like medium, well-drained soils, and regular watering. Growing up to 2 feet tall and wide, the Echinacea White produces large, pure-white flowers that are supported by strong, green stems.
When cut, these flowers are a beautiful addition to your house. However, if you let them grow through fall, the centers turn black and are especially alluring to birds.
Starting in spring and lasting through the summer, these perennials blanket your garden with creamy yellow flowers accented by their surrounding green foliage. Coreopsis Moonbean can be a beautiful addition to hanging baskets or containers. However, adding them to a border garden along with other pollinator-friendly plants can make them especially alluring to pollinators.
Rudbeckia ‘Viette’s Little Suzy’
The Little Suzy is a petite perennial that boasts abundant flowers with bright yellow petals that surround dark brown centers. They are deer and rabbit resistant while being especially alluring to butterflies. While they prefer full sun, they can tolerate partial shade. To make the color pop even more, pair with purple-flowered plants such as geraniums and asters.
Similar to the Lavender Provence, the Lavender Phenomenal has a haunting aroma that will fill your garden and lure butterflies and other pollinators. The main difference between the two is the color; the Lavender Phenomenal has deeper, violet-purple blooms that top grey-green stems. Best complemented with rustic finishes or in traditional mixed borders, this plant is a classic addition to your landscape.