How do you choose plants for your garden? For new gardeners, two traits set plants apart from other options. Pollinators attract bees, butterflies, insects, and even hummingbirds. Perennial plants are known for growing back in the spring, so you can count on having them in your garden for years to come. Check out these gardening tips in Minneapolis for some ways to plant a garden that will last years and support local wildlife.
Keeper of the Bees
There are many types of plants that will attract bees to your garden. Whether you have an expansive backyard or potted plants on an apartment balcony, they’ll help you get in touch with nature. Bee-friendy plants not treated with pesticides allow local bee colonies to thrive. Just keeping these plants can help the declining honey bee populations stay stable. It’s a simple, easy way to give back to the environment while benefiting from a great view and floral scents. Other pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to bright, pollen-filled flowers too. Pick out native plants for extra helpfulness and less maintenance. They tend to grow easily because they’re exactly where they are supposed to be. This means you don’t have to fret overcareful watering routines or pruning since they are predisposed to thrive in your environment.
Some plants known for their ability to attract pollinators are:
- Perennial asters attract honey bees
- Monarda, also known as bee balm, brings in long-tongued honeybees, hawk moths, and hummingbirds
Milkweed is great for butterflies
- Purple coneflowers attract bumblebees, long-horned bees, leafcutter bees, and more
Long-Term Investment Plants
Perennial plants are defined by their ability to live for more than two years. They become dormant in the winter when it gets too cold for them to grow and thrive, but they come back in the spring. Their long lives make them a good option for those who want more bang for their buck. They’re also low-maintenance because they flower each year after only being planted once. That makes them a good option for gardeners who are just starting out.
These choices are some of the options that are easy to tend to:
- Nepeta-Cat Mint
- Shasta daisy
Putting Together a Garden of Pollinator and Perennial Plants
Now that you know the basics of pollinators and perennials, how do you assemble a garden out of them? Native plants are generally easier to grow because they are adapted to the kind of climate your region has. Look for plants that are from the Great Lakes region to better cater to the local bee, butterfly, and hummingbird population.
Gardens benefit from variety, and so will your insect friends. Having a range of flower types will let different bee species find plants to collect nectar from. Pollinators can be generalists or specialists. Generalists can take nectar from a variety of plants, but specialists will only be able to take from certain plant types.
Consider buying plants in a few colors, and placing them together. The effect will give your garden some visual structure. Seeing a larger mass of color will also attract more pollinators since a large mass is easier for them to spot.
Sunnyside Gardens is the go-to garden center for everything from shrubs to houseplants in Minneapolis. We also offer custom containers, landscaping services, and garden maintenance. Contact us for more information about our services or the plants we have for sale.