Of Pollinators and Plants

Mon. Apr. 15, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Of Pollinators and Plants

I just recently spoke about pollinators and plants at a Home & Garden Show.  Of course, bees get the buzz, as well they should as they are the most efficient pollinators.  

Rusty patched bumblebee with plenty of pollen

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 (2013)

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.

Painted Ladies butterflies ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum 9-17

Birds, beetles and even bats are pollinators.  

Soldier beetles on heliopsis – good bug

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

One person wanted to know which are the easiest to grow.  Those would be the native plants!

There are some superstars among them. Liatris or Blazing Star

Liatris aka Blazing Star

and Agastache are two. 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.