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How to design a garden to attract more pollinators

By: Garden Gate staff
Want to help support your local pollinators? Check out these great tips for designing a garden that attracts more pollinators.

Attracting pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, wasps, moths and hummingbirds, benefits every plant in your garden. And by planning beds and borders with these helpers in mind, you’ll also provide for their needs — especially when other food and nectar sources may not be abundant.

Design-a-garden-to-attract-pollinators-pv2: Pollinators, such as this butterfly, are more likely to visit if there is relief from wind.

1. Ward off wind

Pollinators are lightweight and easily disturbed by strong gusts. Include a wall, fence, hedge or even a few tall plants in your planting to provide some protection from the wind.

Check out our Pollinator-Friendly Garden Plans

Design-a-garden-to-attract-pollinators-plant-diversity: The variety of flower shapes in this garden bed attracts different types of pollinators.

2. Grow a mix of plants

From grasses and vines to shrubs and bulbs, include all types of plants in your landscape. An array of flower shapes caters to different pollinator’s feeding methods, making them feel at home.

Mixing bloom shape and size creates pretty contrast, too. Plus, when you choose a variety of plants, your garden will naturally have a range of bloom times, extending feeding. Summer may be when they’re busiest, but bees, butterflies, wasps, moths and hummingbirds visit your garden from early spring through mid- to late fall.

See our Flower & Plant Guide

Design-a-garden-to-attract-pollinators-power-in-numbers: Pollinators will love this mass planting of zinnias.

3. Plant in masses

Plant in sweeps to minimize the distance pollinators travel — and, in turn, the energy they spend — to gather pollen and nectar. Masses of bright color work like a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds and clustering together multiples of the same flower increases pollination chances. Colorful sweeps like the one here make a big impact on human visitors, as well!

Published: March 26, 2019
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