Pollination is essential to the fertilization and survival of all organic and non-GMO food and flower species of plants. Pollination occurs when insects, animals, or the wind moves pollen between flowers of the same species. The essential powdery pollen granules necessary for reproduction are carried with them from plant to plant resulting in successful seed, fruit, and flower production that enables plants to be bountiful, beautiful, full-bodied fruits, vegetables, and flowers year after year.
Exactly who are these pollinators? Birds (especially hummingbirds), bees, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles, ants, and other small insects are crucial to the reproduction and survival of these plants. Honeybees will take the nectar from these flowers to their hive, storing it to give them a supply of food for the long months ahead when plants aren't flowering, so they can survive until the following spring when the cycle begins again. It has been estimated that there are up to 350,000 different pollinators worldwide. This blog will focus on bees and their symbiotic relationship with plants and their nectar. The nectar will provide food for these insects, and the pollen from the flowers that stick to them is transferred from flower to flower and plant to plant, which ensures that the reproduction process is successful and that these plants will reproduce and survive.
You can be on the frontlines of saving the honeybees from their enormous decline that has happened in the last 30 years by choosing a mixture of non-GMO perennial plants that will flower in the spring, summer, and fall with varying colors, shapes, scents, and bloom times. Incorporating larger perennial plants, shrubs, and trees that flower in your landscape, such as dogwood, magnolia, poplar, and willow, will also help significantly in the long term. Fruit trees that bloom in the springtime will help greatly to ensure that you get an excellent crop of plums, cherries, apples, peaches, or pears. Sun-loving and sweet-smelling perennial and annual flowers that attract honeybees should also be incorporated into your flower beds and vegetable gardens around your home.
Bees are most attracted to blue, white, yellow, and purple flowers that are in full sunlight. A source of clean water like a small fountain or waterfall will attract the bees as well. Leaving bare spots of the earth in your flower garden can help to attract bees as some bees are ground-nesting bees (that also help with pollination), and they will bore tunnels where they will lay their eggs. The following list will help you in your quest to bring honeybees to your home. I'll present you with common annuals and discuss my preference, perennials. Just ten or more of these plants will give you a good start in a bee-friendly garden.
Sunflowers are the tallest annual honeybee flower. You can find them in yellow (of course!), brown, gold, and deep red. The yellow sunflowers are great bee attractors, and they will reseed. Plant them in deep, well drained, and rich soil for the best results. The Lemon Queen sunflower is a high-quality heirloom variety that will grow to 7'-8'.
Purple Coneflowers are perennial flowers that grow 3'-4' feet and will bring joy to the garden and the gardener. These flowers like at least 6 hours of sun and loose, well-drained soil. One plant will grow larger in diameter over time but will not spread. They will continue to bloom without deadheading.&
Salvia is a perennial that comes in many shapes, sizes, and shades of lavender (sometimes purple) with flowers that will attract honeybees. When deadheaded regularly, they will continue to bloom for months. I have found that the Purple Fairy Tale Salvia is quite hardy and grows to a height and width of 15"x15".
Black Eyed Susan is a Rudbeckia that will bloom continuously through the summer months beckoning the honeybees. Give these flowers a spot that is 2'x2' and you will end up with an easy perennial year after year.
Lupines are a fragrant spring-blooming perennial that will spread out as the years go by. I recommend buying 3-4 different colors and then planting them in an area of your garden about a foot apart, mixed with other flowers that will bloom later in the spring and summer.
Cosmos is an essential flowering plant for any garden as they come in various heights and colors. They are hardy annual with a very long bloom time from midsummer to the first frost. They like full sun but can tolerate partial shade. These beautiful plants will bloom from mid-summer to the first frost.
Asters help to extend your flowering season as they bloom in the fall with many daisy-shaped flowers. They are perennials but will need to be cut back in late fall. If you want to plant asters in a large pot, give it a sunny spot and keep the soil moist. They bloom in nearly every color.
Bee Balm is a perennial favorite in North America. Blooming in deep reds andpinks, it will prove to be one of the showiest flowing plants in your flower garden. Its flowers can be used as an antiseptic to reduce the swelling from bee stings.
Dahlias grow from a tuber that will spread each year and their flowers come in many sizes and colors. They are a favorite of everyone I know as they come in an abundance of colors and shapes. They are excellent for attracting bees and once harvested or pruned, make an attractive cut flower arrangement.
Nasturtium like to grow in a spot with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. Their orange and yellow flowers add a dash of cheerfulness to any garden with their ground-spreading habit. They should be easy to grow even in partial sunlight if they have well-drained soil.
Honeysuckle is a gorgeous arching vining plant that smells sweet and attracts many pollinators, especially hummingbirds andhoneybees. They are slow growers but don't let that deter you because they can grow to 30 feet and will give you a very fragrant wall of beauty.
Columbine is an easy plant to grow that you can start from seed or by getting started at a nursery. They come in varying colors and as it's a perennial, they will spread in your flower garden for many years. They prefer dappled shaded areas in hotter climates but will do well in the direct sun, where it's cooler.
Thornless Blackberry plants grow as a vine and need full sun to produce flowers and fruit. They put out thick canes (or vines) and will grow quickly through the spring months. I consider this the best berry to grow for ease of care, the lack of stickers that make it a joy to harvest, and the amount of fruit you'll get.
Herbs: Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary are all very hardy perennials that deserve a place in your garden. Their flowers will be& swarming with honeybees all summer but have no fear; the bees will focus on these herbs and not bother anyone in the garden. As the summer months go by you can harvest the leaves and dry them for use in recipes as fresh spices.
As the bees go from flower to flower, they will get nourishment, and the flowers will get pollinated. The result will be successful seed, flower, and fruit production, enabling these plants to flourish yearly. If we can help you with your irrigation needs, go to www.dripworks.com and you'll easily be able to select drip and spray irrigation products tailored to your specific needs. The chat room and knowledgeable people on the phones will help you with your questions if necessary.