What is a Pollinator Garden?

Pollinator Gardens

Though we may not notice hummingbirds, bats, bees, beetles, butterflies, and flies carrying pollen from one plant to another, these pollinators are responsible for nearly everything we eat—from chocolate and coffee to fruits and vegetables. They also maintain the beautifully diverse flower species. Despite these benefits, pollinators are disappearing at alarming rates.

You can help these beneficial creatures by creating a pollinator-friendly habitat in your backyard. A small yard landscaped with a variety of plants can attract great diversity. Ask your neighbors whether, together, you all can create a pollinator corridor on your street.

Who are the pollinators?

Honey bees are responsible for 80% of all pollination in the United States. Bee habitats in your yard can increase the quality and quantity of your fruits and vegetables while assisting in the survival of these threatened pollinators. Plant species that bloom in the spring, summer and fall. Bees are especially attracted to blue and yellow flowers.

Butterflies prefer different varieties of nectar, in both color and taste. Make sure to plant a wide variety of plants for nectar and hosting caterpillars. Plant flowers in sunny spots—butterflies love to be warm and soak up the sun!

To attract hummingbirds, plant bright red flowers that have cones or trumpet shapes. Native wildflowers for hummingbirds include the beardtongue (early summer), New Jersey tea (mid-summer) and Bergamot (late summer). These wildflowers are native to the Midwest and eastern Great Plains and thrive on well-drained, sandy to sandy-loam soils.

Native Perennials for Ohio Pollinator Gardens

Vines and Groundcovers
Trumpet Creeper   Campsis radicans

Herbaceous Vines and Creepers
Creeping Phlox   Phlox stolonifera
Moss Phlox    Phlox subulataasdf

Tall Perennials up to 6’ 
Goat’s Beard   Aruncus dioicus
Common Milkweed   Asclepias syriaca
Smooth Aster   Aster laevis
Calico Aster   Aster lateriflorus
Hollow Joe-Pye Weed   Eupatorium fistulosum
Spotted Joe-Pye Weed   Eupatorium maculatum
Common Boneset   Eupatorium perfoliatum
Sweet Joe-Pye Weed   Eupatorium purpureum
Beebalm    Monarda didyma
Wild Bergamot   Monarda fistulosa
Rough Blazing Star   Liatris aspera
Dense Blazing Star   Liatris spicata
Turk’s Cap Lily   Lilium superbum
Ohio Goldenrod   Solidago ohioensis
Stiff Goldenrod   Solidago rigida
Showy Goldenrod   Solidago speciosa

Shrubs 1-25”
New Jersey Tea   Ceanothus americanus
Buttonbush   Cephalanthus occidentalis
Sweet Pepperbush   Clethra alnifolia
Spicebush   Lindera benzoin
Flowering Raspberry   Rubus odoratus
Steeplebush   Spiraea tomentosa
Pinxter Flower Rhododendron nudiflorum

Low Growing Perennial Plants 3-12”
Sweet White Violet   Viola blanda*
Marsh Blue Violet   Viola cucllata*
Common Yellow Violet   Viola pubescens*
Common Blue Violet   Viola sororio*
Common White Violet   Viola striata*

Very Tall Plants 6”+
New England Aster.  Aster novae-angliae
Flat-topped White Aster   Aster umbellatus
Wild Senna   Cassia hebecarpa*
Maximilian’s Sunflower   Helianthus maximilianii
Woodland Sunflower   Helianthus strumosus
Jerusalem Artichoke   Helianthus tuberosus
Cup-plant   Silphium perfoliatum

Medium Height Perennials 4-36”
Pearly Everlasting. Anaphalis margaritacea
Swamp Milkweed   Asclepias incarnata*
Butterfly Weed   Asclepias tuberosa*
Sky Blue Aster   Aster azureus
White Wood Aster   Aster divaricatus
White Heath Aster   Aster ericoides
Fairy Wand   Chamaelirium luteum
Turtlehead    Chelone glabra*
Wild Lupine   Lupinis perennis*
Wild Blue Phlox   Phlox divaricata
Hoary Mountain Mint   Pycnantheum incanum
Grey Goldenrod   Solidago nemoralis
Black-eyed Susan   Rudbeckia hirta
Starry Campion   Silene stellata

Small Trees/Large Shrubs 15-40’   
Common Pawpaw   Asimina triloba*
Pagoda Dogwood   Cornus alternifolia*
Flowering Dogwood   Cornus florida*
Pussy Willow   Salix discolor*

 

*Good for butterfly larvae

 

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