How can I attract pollinators to my garden?
How can I attract pollinators to my garden? I think we’d all agree that there are few more magical sights in the landscape than butterflies and hummingbirds. And most of us would even agree that bees and other potentially stinging insects are also welcome. If we avoid them, they tend to repay the favor, and they are a critical part of our ecosystem as a whole.
Butterflies, birds, bees and other critters are attracted to our gardens to utilize the very plants and flowers that we also find attractive… since the bottom line for this question, attracting pollinators to our yards, is plant-centric, and since we receive so many amazingly beautiful viewer photos… this week, we let our viewers show you how to do it.
As we go through just a few of your pollinator-attracting plant options, remember, insects have multiple life stages, so multiple host plants will be necessary to attract them to your garden. Equally important is the need for host plants throughout the year, so choose a variety of spring, summer, and even autumn-flowering species for greatest effect.
Brian Tabone attracts lots of pollinators on his gorgeous borage flowers… and in summer he has pretty okra. Even spring-blooming ranunculus intrigued a firefly.
In Buda, Adam Querbach is glad to share the dill with Eastern Black swallowtail caterpillars. He tells us that his family has progressed from a few potted plants to three large raised beds and dozens of chickens with the help and inspiration of CTG.
In Bee Cave, Joe Wagner’s got a lovely front yard filled with natives and well-adapted plants. Clustering near desert willow are lantana, salvias, red yucca and a silvery agave.
Jenny Lynn’s been attracting pollinators to her passion vine flowers that started blooming in February.
And Sharon Black-Greene already spotted Monarch caterpillars on her milkweed. She loves nature photography and took UT Informal Classes from Brian Loflin. She also has Brian and Shirley Loflin’s book Grasses of the Hill Country that guided her family’s decision on native grasses to plant.
Amy Acosta-Welch grows a lot of plants for pollinators. Last fall, she spotted this Monarch on her tropical milkweed.
Robert Hill spotted his first Zebra Longwing on his Salvia coccinea. He notes that this butterfly is quite a sight to behold when in flight, since it shimmers in the light.
In The Giving Garden of Carrollton, Laura Margadonna spotted Zebra Longwing’s on violas…. a reason to plant cool weather annuals. There are also ladybugs resting on lambs’s ears waiting to clean up the community garden aphids…. And at a restaurant, her friend Sherien Joyner caught this video of a hummingbird moth on petunias—even our public spaces can feed wildlife!
Heather Jefts has lots going on in her garden. She caught a Hackberry Emperor sunning on her gypsy pepper. Gregg’s mistflower is popular with many species of butterflies, especially Queens. And a Texas Crescent also showed up.
And finally, in Bastrop, Amanda and Brad Craig’s garden is so inviting that a pair of Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies decided to raise a family.