Pollinators play a vital role in our gardens and the larger ecosystem. Without pollinators, the world's food systems would collapse, and many flowering species would go extinct. Pollination is the process of moving pollen grains from the male part of a flower (anther), to the female part of a flower (stigma). About 75% of the world's flowering species rely on pollinators to reproduce, and over 80% of the world's food crops rely on pollinators for production of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Pollinators take many forms--bees, butterflies, birds, and even wasps and bats. Pollinator numbers are declining, but there are many ways that gardeners can support pollinator populations at home.
1. Plant flowering species with staggered flowering periods. You want to create an environment that sustains pollinators in the long term, and the best way to do so is plant a variety of species that bloom during the entire growing season.
2. Do not use harsh chemicals or pesticides. These can harm pollinators, and may play a part in colony collapse disorder.
3. Use native species when possible. We carry a wide range of Southeastern native flowering species, check them out here.
4. Plant large patches of flowering species together to create plenty of fodder for the pollinators.
5. Focus on plants with simple flowering structures. Many flowering species, like roses, have been bred for high petal counts, which can obscure the reproductive organs of the plant. Focus on plants that have open blooms.
6. Be patient! It may take some time for pollinators to find your garden, and for your plants to mature.
7. Do your research. One of our landscape specialists would be happy to help you to pick out flowering plants that will add beauty and beneficial pollinators to your garden.