Pretty Pollinators

Pollinators play a crucial role in the success rate of flowering plants. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, flies, and wasps are great pollinators. Sadly the population of these pollinators is declining quickly due to chemicals, disease, pollution and diminishing open space. Gardeners can ‘BEE’ a positive influence by planting plants that will help these pollinators flourish.

What is Pollination?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The process by which plant pollen is transferred from the male reproductive organs to the female reproductive organs to form seeds. In flowering plants, pollen is transferred from the anther to the stigma, often by the wind or by insects. In cone-bearing plants, male cones release pollen that is usually borne by the wind to the ovules of female cones.

Some plants can self-pollinate, others must cross pollinate.

What Can You Do For Pollinators?

Be sure your garden has these 3 elements: water, shelter, and food.

Plant a garden using Native flowering plants

♦ Native plants have co-evolved with pollinator species and are well adapted to the climate, soil and growing season- it is okay to plant non-native plants, some are just very invasive.

♦ Provide a variety of flower shapes and colors since different pollinators are attracted to different types of flowers.

 

Plant single bloom varieties

Pollinators can get pollen from single bloom flowers much easier because their nectaries are exposed. Petals of double bloom varieties often block the flower’s nectary, making it difficult to navigate.

Provide shelter for nesting and egg-laying

♦ Dead trees or limbs, tall grasses, shrubs and low growing plants create nesting habitats for bees

♦ Minimize manicuring, allow things to grow a little wild for ground-nesting bees

♦ Artificial nesting boxes can be purchased at many garden centres

 

Provide food and water

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

♦ Plan ahead. Pollinators require a constant source of food from when they emerge in the Spring, right through the Fall. Be sure to have a continuing sequence of flowers in bloom to provide pollen throughout the whole growing season.

♦ Butterflies require specific host plants to lay their eggs so that their caterpillars can feed on them once they hatch. Once the caterpillars become butterflies, they feed on all nectar and pollen sources.

♦ Plant in clumps rather than single plants to better attract the pollinators. Bees tend to collect pollen from one type of plant at a time.

Pollinators locate food sources by sight and scent

Not all pollinators see colour the same as we do. You can help them by choosing plants that have white, yellow, blue or purple flowers. This will help them spot resources in your garden more easily! Pollinators will also go crazy for aromatic flowers, such as lavender and all the herbs known!

Avoid using pesticides, try organic

If you must use a pesticide, choose one that is the least toxic to non-pest species, does not persist on the leaves, and apply it in the evening or early morning when most pollinators are not active.

Our Statement

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of concern over the decrease of Monarch butterflies and now a decrease in pollinator populations, especially bees. The concern has been pointed to both a loss of habitat and pesticides, in particular pesticides containing neonico- tinoid’s (Neonic’s).

Willowbrook Nurseries does not use Neonics in our spray program. Willowbrook Nurseries uses a very strict IPM Integrated Pest Management program. It is in our best interest to use as little chemicals as possible for the safety of our environment, our own employees and also to reduce costs. Wherever possible we use cultural practices in our production such as hand weeding (which is labor intensive), weed guards, cocoa discs, wood mulch and ground cloth to suppress weed growth. We also ventilate our greenhouses as much as possible, which reduces populations of aphids and other cosmetic insects. We strive to keep our nursery spotless to eliminate any breeding areas for insects and pests.

The nursery industry represents only a miniscule frac- tion of neonic use. It is estimated to be a fraction of 1%, and at the moment there is a ban on the use of neonics for cosmetic reasons. Most neonics are used as a seed treatment for food crops.

As a nursery supplying the garden center industry, we have the best solution to increasing bee populations. The more we plant, the more pollen there is for bees, birds, and butterflies which also provides a habitat for them to thrive in.

Willowbrook Nurseries

List of plants for pollinators

  • Plants that attract butterflies

    Alyssum
    Achilea (Yarrow)
    Alcea (Hollyhock)
    Aster
    Buddleia (Butterfly bush)
    Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s lace)
    Delphinium
    Dianthus (Pinks)
    Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower)
    Echinops (Globe Thistle)
    Foeniculum (Fennel)
    Hemerocallis (Daylilies)
    Lavandula (Lavender)
    Leucantenum (Shasta Daisy)
    Liatris (Liatris)
    Monarda (Bee Balm)
    Origanum vulgare (Oregano)
    Phlox
    Salvia officinalis (Sage)
    Scabiosa (Pincushion flower)
    Sedum spectabile (Stonecrop)

  • Plants that attract hummingbirds

    Abelia (Glossy Abelia)
    Ajuga (Bugleweed)
    Alcea (Hollyhocks)
    Aquilegia (Columbine)
    Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
    Cleome
    Delphinium
    Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart)
    Digitalis (Foxglove)
    Hesperis matronalis (Dame’s Rocket)
    Heuchera (Coral Bells)
    Iris
    Liatris
    Lily
    Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
    Lupine
    Monarda
    Penstemon
    Phlox
    Salvia Officinalis (Sage)
    Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower)

  • Plants that attract bees

    Aquilegia
    Agastache foeniculum (Giant hyssop)
    Aster
    Borage (Starflower)
    Coreopsis
    Convallaria
    Cleome (Bee plant)
    Crabapples
    Dogwood (Flowering and fragrant species)
    Echinops (Globe Thistle)
    Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
    Geranium
    Helianthus (Sunflower)
    Hyssop
    Iris
    Japanese Cherry (Kwanzan)
    Lavandula (Lavender)
    Liatris
    Lilac
    Linum usitatissimum (Flax)
    Lupinus perennis (Lupine)
    Mentha (Mint)
    Monarda (Bee Balm)
    Monarda didyma (Bergamot)
    Papaver (Poppy)
    Perovskia
    Philadelphus
    Primula
    Rosa canina (Wild Rose)
    Rhododendron
    Salvia officinalis (Sage)
    Sedum
    Thymus (Thyme)
    Veronica
    Verbascum thapsus (Mullein)
    Verbena

  • Plants that attract butterfly larvae (Caterpillars)

    Star Flower (Borage)
    Fennel
    Grasses
    Hollyhocks (Alcea)
    Lupine
    Milkweed (Asclepias)
    Nettle (Urtica dioica)
    Thistle
    Willow (Salix)
    Morus  (Mulberry)

Our Program

 

Kits include region-specific wildflowers!

Canadian Wildlife Federation