Pollinator plants

Wed. May. 20, 2015

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Pollinator plants

Whatever all the reasons are for the bee decline or colony collapse, we can still plant for pollinators.  That includes butterflies and hummingbirds!

butterfly and hummingbird

Planting native species is a good thing and there are plenty of nurseries that offer good native stock.   Check out my Favorite Links tab.

I talked this week about Monarda and it’s attraction to bees (as well as butterflies and hummingbirds).  Today let’s talk Echinacea.

Echinacea - native purple coneflower
Echinacea – native purple coneflower

I also enjoy  new cultivars.  The one thing we have to understand is that there is always a trade-off of some sort.  While you can have a spectacular rose, you may lose some of it’s fragrance.  Or perhaps you get a disease resistant tomato that lacks that full flavor you love.

Echinacea - Salsa Red
Echinacea – Salsa Red

Salvia is another standout for pollinators.  It’s a standup plant that grows to 2 feet tall and again that wide.  ‘Lyrical Blues’ is one I planted 2 years ago and really love it.

Salvia - Lyrical Blues
Salvia – Lyrical Blues

I also want to share with you a new rose by Minnesota breeder David Zlesak.  It’s called ‘Above and Beyond’ and is rated to zone 3b.  Incredible cold hardiness.  This 10 to 14 foot climbing rose has a beautiful yellowy apricot that blooms early in the season and then sporadically throughout summer.  Bailey Nurseries, who I talked about earlier this week, introduced it last year but it is now more available.  ‘Above and Beyond’ is a vigorous grower and disease resistant.  You can train it to climb or let it arch.  Plant in full sun and you’ve got yourself a lovely semi-double to double apricot rose with light green foliage.  It has a lightly spiced scent.

Rose - Above and Beyond
Rose – Above and Beyond


List of Plants for Pollinators from the University of Minnesota Extension

daylilies, sneezeweed, monarda, salvia
daylilies, sneezeweed, monarda, salvia

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