June is Perennial Garden Month!

Attract Butterflies & Pollinators with your Perennial Garden

1. PLANT NECTAR-RICH AND POLLEN-RICH FLOWERS

The most important step you can take is to plant a pollinator-friendly garden. Choose nectar and pollen-rich plants like wildflowers and old-fashioned varieties of flowers. A succession of blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs is best so nectar and pollen will be available throughout the growing season. Also, include plants like dill, fennel and milkweed that butterfly larvae feed on.

 

2. GO ORGANIC

Many pesticides — even organic ones — are toxic to bees and other beneficial organisms. There's no need to use powerful poisons to protect your garden from insects and diseases. In the short term they may provide a quick knock-down to the attackers, but they also kill beneficial organisms. In the long term, you expose yourself, family, pets and wildlife to toxic chemicals, and risk disrupting the natural ecosystem that you and your garden inhabit.

 

3. PROVIDE SHELTER

Butterflies, bees and other pollinators need shelter to hide from predators, get out of the elements and rear their young. Let a hedgerow or part of your lawn grow wild for ground-nesting bees. Let a pile of grass cuttings or a log decompose in a sunny place on the ground. Or, allow a dead tree to stand to create nooks for butterflies and solitary bees.

Artificial nesting boxes can also help increase the population of pollinators in your area. Wooden blocks with the proper-sized holes drilled into them will attract mason bees, as will our bamboo Mason Bee House. Bat boxes provide a place for bats to raise their young.

 

4. PROVIDE FOOD AND WATER

A pollinator garden will provide pollen and nectar. Consider adding special feeders to help attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Bees, birds and butterflies also all need water. Install a water garden, a bird bath or a catch basin for rain. Butterflies are attracted to muddy puddles which they will flock to for salts and nutrients as well as water.

 

5. BACKYARD BEE KEEPING

You don't have to live in the country to keep bees. All you need is a little space, a water source, plenty of nearby flowers for them to visit, and a willingness to learn. Keeping a beehive or two in the backyard used to be a common practice. Maybe it's time to bring back this old-fashioned hobby. It does require equipment and some specific knowledge. But it's nothing an interested hobbyist can't handle. For more information, read Attracting Beneficial Bees.

 

PLANTS THAT ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES

Alyssum, Aster, Bee balm, Butterfly bush, Calendula, Cosmos, Daylily, Delphinium, Dianthus, Fennel, Globe thistle, Goldenrod, Hollyhock, Lavender, Liatris, Marigold, Musk mallow, Nasturtium, Oregano, Phlox, Purple coneflower, Queen Anne's lace, Sage, Scabiosa, Shasta daisy, Stonecrop, Verbena, Yarrow, Zinnia

 

PLANTS THAT ATTRACT BUTTERFLY LARVAE (CATERPILLARS0

Borage, Fennel, Grasses, Hollyhocks, Lupine, Milkweed, Nettle, Thistle, Willow

 

PLANTS THAT ATTRACT HUMMINGBIRDS

Ajuga, Bee balm, Begonia, Bleeding heart, Butterfly weed, Canna, Cardinal flower, Century plant, Columbine, Coral bells (heuchera), Cleome, Crapemyrtle, Dahlia, Dame's rocket, Delphinium, Fire pink, Four o' clocks, Foxglove, Fuchsia, Gilia, Geranium, Gladiolus, Glossy abelia, Hollyhocks, Impatiens, Iris, Lantana, Liatris, Lily, Lupine, Nasturtium, Nicotiana, Paintbrush, Penstemon, Petunia, Phlox, Sage, Salvia, Scabiosa, Scarlet sage, Sweet William, Verbena, Yucca, Zinnia

 

PLANTS THAT ATTRACT BEES

Perennials and Annuals:

Allium, Aster, Basil, Bee balm, Bee plant, Bergamot, Blanket flower, Borage, Cosmos, Flax, Four o'clock, Gaillardia, Geranium, Giant hyssop, Globe thistle, Goldenrod, Helianthus, Hyssop, Joe-pye weed, Lavender, Lupine, Marjoram, Mint, Mullein, Paintbrush, Poppy, rosemary, Sage, Skullcap, Sunflower, Thyme, Verbena, Wallflower, Wild rose, Zinnia