Regardless of what you think is the cause of pollinator problems, we can all agree that pollinators serve a very important role in our ecosystem and help us grow the food we eat. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture states that “More than one third of all plants or plant products consumed by humans are in some way dependent on insects for pollination.” What can we do to help? Over the next couple of weeks we will be posting on a variety of things you can consider to help do your part to protect our pollinators.
One of the easiest things we can do to help pollinators is provide the right plants in our gardens. Encourage bees and butterflies in the garden by providing different kinds of plants that produce nectar and pollen from early spring in March through frost in September to maintain a reliable food source. Perennials plants that come back every spring can be selected with bloom times in mind. Here a just a few of the perennials you can add to your garden now to provide for pollinators.
Joe Pye Weed blooms in August and September and is a large perennial reaching about 5′ tall and forms a rather large clump. Prefers part to full sun. Smaller cultivars of this native can be found in garden centers.
Anise Hyssop is a pollinator friendly perennial for full sun and growing about 3′ tall with pretty lavender flowers. The name anise comes from its minty-licorice scent.
Purple Coneflower is a very hardy, sun loving perennial flowering in July and August. Purple coneflower is also very drought tolerant and will attract tons of pollinators and birds too.
For a more complete list of pollinator plants, the U of M has a great list of plants at Plants for MN Bees .