How To Promote Pollinator-Friendly Plants This Spring

Participating in the Grow Wise, Bee Smart initiative, as well as the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, is an opportunity for growersDespite a major cold spell that brought snow and freezing temperatures to many areas of the country this past week, it’s important to remember that Spring 2016 is just a few weeks away. This means it’s time for growers to finalize plant availability for their customers.

The National Garden Bureau reminds the industry that it’s more important than ever to include pollinator-friendly plants on grower availability listings this year. Not only are home gardeners and garden-retailer customers demanding them, but pollinators and the plants on which they depend have become a top federal priority.

In an unprecedented move to protect a key component of our nation’s agriculture system and the biodiversity needed to sustain it, the White House in 2015 presented a call to action to support pollinator health. With one in three bites of food Americans eat each day dependent on the actions of pollinators, a declining pollinator population becomes a challenge for everyone to help solve.

The Pollinator Challenge

In June 2015, a group of national gardening and habitat organizations led by American Public Gardens Association, National Gardening Association, National Wildlife Federation, and Pollinator Partnership joined with industry organizations AmericanHort, American Seed Trade Association, Home Garden Seed Association, and the National Garden Bureau to form the National Pollinator Garden Network. This collaborative effort, with more than 25 other organizations and eight federal agencies, established the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC) to encourage Americans to plant pollinator-beneficial plants. Whether it’s a window box, a home garden, or a large-acreage landscape planting, every pollinator-friendly planting contributes to pollinator survival. The MPGC encourages Americans to grow seeds and plants for the benefit of pollinators and to register those plantings to reach the goal of 1 million pollinator gardens by December 2016.

Why Availability Matters

With the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge hitting consumer awareness full force this spring via both the mainstream and garden media, demand at the retail level for seeds and plants beneficial to pollinators will be unmatched. It makes both environmental and economic sense to fill the growing need. Not only do bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and dozens of other pollinators need these plants for survival, consumers are stepping up to the challenge and asking for the horticulture industry’s help by making pollinator-beneficial plants and seeds available.

Tips for Getting Started

Growers have at the ready multiple resources and ways to provide plants and seeds that can be used as forage or habitat for pollinator species. Determine demand and appropriate species for a given location by:
• Contacting local and regional botanic gardens, zoos, and wildlife centers for a listing of their recommended pollinator plants. Remember, annuals, perennials and woody trees, shrubs, and vines are all important.
• Reaching out to garden retailer customers to assess which species they suggest to customers and also which species customers are requesting
• Connecting with breeders and brokers for information on native and pollinator plant programs
• Consulting the resources available through the Million Pollinator Garden Network Partners.

Using these tips and their own ingenuity, growers can be sure they are well equipped to meet the needs of garden retailers and consumers alike.

 

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “How To Promote Pollinator-Friendly Plants This Spring

  1. Make sure those pollinator plants have not been treated with neonicotinoids at any stage. Neonics stay in the plant for up to 3 years and in the soil – they come out in the pollen and nectar and either outright kill or weaken a pollinator.

More From Varieties...
California Coast

March 28, 2017

How to Follow the Greenhouse Grower Team During California Spring Trials

California Spring Trials 2017 kicks off in less than a week, and our team at Greenhouse Grower is making final preparations before we depart. Find out what’s in store during this busy but fun adventure!

Read More
Cyclamen Allure

March 28, 2017

Blooming Potted Plants for 2018 From California Spring Trials

We asked breeders to give you a peek at some of the great blooming potted plants they’re introducing this year at California Spring Trials. These new varieties will show up on the retail market in 2018.

Read More
Hydrangea paniculata First Editions Diamond Rouge (Bailey Nurseries)

March 28, 2017

Shrubs, Subshrubs, and Groundcovers from California Spring Trials 2017

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the shrubs, subshrubs, and groundcovers that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Latest Stories
California Coast

March 28, 2017

How to Follow the Greenhouse Grower Team During Califor…

California Spring Trials 2017 kicks off in less than a week, and our team at Greenhouse Grower is making final preparations before we depart. Find out what’s in store during this busy but fun adventure!

Read More
Cyclamen Allure

March 28, 2017

Blooming Potted Plants for 2018 From California Spring …

We asked breeders to give you a peek at some of the great blooming potted plants they’re introducing this year at California Spring Trials. These new varieties will show up on the retail market in 2018.

Read More
Hydrangea paniculata First Editions Diamond Rouge (Bailey Nurseries)

March 28, 2017

Shrubs, Subshrubs, and Groundcovers from California Spr…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the shrubs, subshrubs, and groundcovers that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Bee on Lavender feature

March 23, 2017

Allan Armitage: Plant Consumers Don’t Talk About …

Allan Armitage says it's time to get in touch with our true audience and market plant solutions, not plant products.

Read More
Spin Top Gaillardia Series (Dummen Orange)

March 22, 2017

New Perennials and Tender Perennials for 2018 from Cali…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the true perennials and tender perennials that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. Here's a sampling of some of the varieties hitting retail shelves in 2018.

Read More
Zinnia Solmar Series (Floranova)

March 17, 2017

Phlox, Zinnias, and More for 2018 From California Sprin…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Cosmos ‘Apollo’ (Floranova)

March 14, 2017

Begonias, Dahlias, and More for 2018 from California Sp…

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Pennisetum First Knight Feature

March 11, 2017

Now is the Time for Growers to Plan for Fall Perennial …

If you haven’t already put in your orders for the items you’ll sell this fall, it’s time to start now.

Read More
Dianthus Pink Kisses Selecta Feature

March 8, 2017

Growing Tips for Selecta’s Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’

Kyle Peterson, Production Manager at Fessler Nursery, grew Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’ on a trial basis and says he was pleased with its performance.

Read More
Limbo GP burgundy picotee

March 7, 2017

New Petunias and Calibrachoas for 2018 from California …

We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new petunias and calibrachoas that you'll see at California Spring Trials 2017. They didn't let you down.

Read More
Butterfly on a Pollinator Plant Feature

March 7, 2017

Allan Armitage: Why You Should Focus on the Functionali…

New crops are great, but Armitage says selling plants by function makes more sense.

Read More

March 5, 2017

2016 Young’s Plant Farm Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Young's Plant Farm in Auburn, AL.

Read More
kelly-norris

March 4, 2017

Kelly Norris Describes How Growers Can Help Plant the F…

The tough plant varieties unique to their regions could be the urban superstars of tomorrow.

Read More
Welby Gardens field trials

March 2, 2017

2016 Welby Gardens Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Welby Gardens in Denver, CO.

Read More
Zinnia 'Zahara XL Fire Improved'

March 1, 2017

2016 University of Minnesota Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for University of Minnesota in Morris, MN.

Read More
Geranium Combos feature

February 27, 2017

Tips for General Combination and Hanging Basket Product…

Bell Nursery’s Head Grower Tom Wheeler provides his recipe for success when growing premium combos that put on a show at retail.

Read More
Portulaca 'ColorBlast Tangerine'

February 26, 2017

2016 University of Georgia Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University Of Georgia trial gardens in Athens, GA.

Read More
University of Wisconsin field trial gardens

February 25, 2017

2016 University of Wisconsin Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Wisconsin display gardens at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station in Verona, WI.

Read More