Of pollinators and plants

Tue. Apr. 14, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Of pollinators and plants

Bees get the buzz as the most efficient pollinators, as they should…

the native rusty patched bumblebee is on endangered list

Honey bees in particular because they can be packed up and carted to commercial growers for pollinate, for instance, almond trees in California.

Victoria Ranua – beekeeper at Shakopee, MN. Taken during my Dig In MN tv show. Me in the middle and my photog Tristan

But nearly everything is a pollinator to a certain degree.  Butterflies are probably next on the list. Though inadvertent pollinators, they carry the pollen on their legs and bodies as they feed on the nectar of flowers.

Sept. 2019 aster just loaded with bees and a monarch and painted lady

Birds, beetles and even bats are pollinators.  I know folks aren’t too happy with bats right now, as they transmitted the coronavirus to humans, however, THAT was not their “fault”. Bats are not the “bad guy”, they offer a lot of positives too. Check out my Garden Bite on Saving the Bats.

Soldier beetles on heliopsis – good bug

What about plants?  My plant list:  Of Plants and Pollinators plant list – Teri Knight

The easiest plants to grow are native plants! And there are some superstars among them. Liatris or Blazing Star

Liatris – Blazing Star 2019 by Teri Knight

Agastache is also a great plant as they have long bloom periods and are major attractors for bees and butterflies.

Giant Hyssop – Agastache

One plant I want to mention for the Great Lakes area, and any sandy location, is the Wild Lupine.

Wild Lupine

This is a superstar as it’t the only host plant of the Karner Blue Butterfly, which is on the endangered list.

Karner Blue butterfly

If you have a chance to plant this plant, do it! It will do well in sun to part shade and well drained soil, particularly sandy soil. That’s why you’ll see it so profusely around Lake Superior.