Lead The Way: Three Ways To Support Pollinators In Your Community

Our pollinators are in trouble, and it is time to do something about it. Growers are in a unique position to lead out in their communities by promoting plants and natives that attract pollinators, providing education that dispels misinformation and participating in outreach efforts that help incorporate pollinators into the community.

 

 

Teach Community Members That Not All Plants Attract Pollinators
Community members who want to attract pollinators are often well intentioned but misinformed about what makes up an effective pollinator garden. Who better than growers to fill these educational gaps by helping them understand what types of plants work best, especially because pollinators are so particular about the plants they choose for food and nesting.

For example, Lois Stack, a plant and soil science professor at The University of Maine, has noticed in her fieldwork that single-flowered French marigolds attract more bees than double-flowered French marigolds and that white-flowered borage attracts more bees than blue-flowered sage does.

And along with plant type and colors, gardeners need to be informed about the importance of bloom time and grouping of plants to attract pollinators. They need to be encouraged to mix it up when it comes to their choice of plant materials.

“Plants need to be blooming in succession from spring into autumn. Flowers need to bloom at the right time of the year so pollen is available for insects,” says Carrie Wiles of North Creek Nurseries. “Choosing plants with various flower colors, shapes and sizes is important. Additionally, planting species en masse is more effective than single, individual flowers here and there.”

Zoltan Kovacs, of the Dümmen Group suggests including 40 percent trees and shrubs, 30 to 40 percent perennials and 30 percent annuals to provide a balanced mix of plants in the landscape that will attract a variety of wildlife.

Encourage Community Members To Make Natives A Part Of Their Plant Mix

Native plants must be part of that plant mix for a pollinator garden to be successful. “The more diverse your collection of native plants, the more diverse the population of pollinators you will attract,” says Kristen Smith of Star Roses and Plants. “In many instances, native plants evolved in conjunction with their pollinators so the relationships are already well established.”

Encouraging the use of native plants in the community presents growers with an opportunity to diversify their product mix and reach out to new customers, according to Peggy Anne Montgomery of American Beauties Native Plants.

“Growers need to do a better job of branding native plants to draw attention to their special attributes,” Montgomery says. “Research shows that consumers want native plants, but cannot identify what is a native at the garden center level.”

Chuck Pavlich  of Terra Nova Nurseries suggests setting aside a special spot on the retail floor for natives and pollinator-friendly plants to make consumers’ shopping experiences easier.

“There is a big demand from gardeners for plants that attract wildlife to their outdoor living spaces,” Pavlich says. “Gardeners seek these plants out much like hummingbirds flock to agastache.”

Partner With The Community On Projects That Support Pollinators

Besides drawing attention to natives and pollinator-friendly plants in the retail setting, growers can make an impact in their communities through outreach and education.

One type of effort Angela Treadwell-Palmer of Plants Nouveau would like to see is for growers to work with children and educators to promote pollinators, especially bees, as important and vital to our existence. She says she sees too many children who are afraid of bees and other insects, who could benefit from some good education on the subject.

Along with education, outreach efforts can go a long way toward helping to incorporate pollinators in the community. Outreach doesn’t have to cost a lot, according to Diane Genco, a Monarch enthusiast and volunteer for America in Bloom, an organization that promotes nationwide beautification with plants through education and community involvement. Growers merely need to take stock of what resources they already have available. Genco offers several ways for growers to get involved in their community:

  • Sponsor a school garden
  • Give presentations for community groups or schools
  • Sponsor a tour of your facility and send people home with a pollinator plant
  • Create educational materials on pollinator plants
  • Partner with local garden clubs to fill community planters with pollinator-friendly plants
  • Sponsor a Monarch house
  • Ask  your employees to suggest a school, daycare center or other organization that you can collaborate with to support pollinators
  • Donate flats of pollinator plants for special events like Mother’s Day or Earth Day
  • Create a well-labeled pollinator garden for educational purposes
Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Dr Allan Armitage

February 8, 2016

Why Succulents Have Become The Hippest Plants On The Market

Allan Armitage says succulents used to be relegated to the far end of the display bench, but their adaptability, decorative value, and low maintenance requirements have now made them a staple.

Read More

February 4, 2016

Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triumphs

Growers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Carolina describer their experiences trialing everyone’s favorite holiday season flora.

Read More
Rhododendron ‘Dandy Man’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)

February 2, 2016

Spring Meadow Nursery Partnering With Proven Winners Europe To Introduce New Flowering Shrubs

The expansion creates a cohesive brand for what is now a global market, immediately introducing more than 24 shrubs to the European market, with the potential for 125 or more in the future.

Read More
Latest Stories
Dr Allan Armitage

February 8, 2016

Why Succulents Have Become The Hippest Plants On The Ma…

Allan Armitage says succulents used to be relegated to the far end of the display bench, but their adaptability, decorative value, and low maintenance requirements have now made them a staple.

Read More

February 4, 2016

Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triu…

Growers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Carolina describer their experiences trialing everyone’s favorite holiday season flora.

Read More
Rhododendron ‘Dandy Man’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)

February 2, 2016

Spring Meadow Nursery Partnering With Proven Winners Eu…

The expansion creates a cohesive brand for what is now a global market, immediately introducing more than 24 shrubs to the European market, with the potential for 125 or more in the future.

Read More

February 1, 2016

12 New Poinsettias For Holiday Growing

Poinsettias are still a consumer favorite during the holidays for home décor and gift giving. For greenhouse growers looking to get a jumpstart on purchasing young plants for the 2016 poinsettia growing season, there is no shortage of great varieties to choose from. Here are 12 new varieties to keep in mind for holiday product offerings.

Read More

January 27, 2016

Costa Farms’ Season Premier Provides Sneak Peek A…

Costa Farms presented the 2016 Season Premier at its 2-acre Trial Gardens in Miami, FL, in the third week of January. The event showcases varieties from breeders of all sizes to growers and major retail buyers, providing a look at what genetics are coming to the market and how they’ll perform in retail settings and in the landscape, when consumers bring them home. The mild winter climate in South Florida allows Costa Farms’ Research and Development Department to simulate the spring growing conditions of various regions in the country. Because each group of visitors to Costa Farms’ Trial Gardens wants to see what the new plants look like in the environments that matter to them, Season Premier offers several areas within the Trial Gardens that highlight different ways to look at the wealth of new varieties. The New Product Showcase offers a way for retailers to see how plants will […]

Read More

January 26, 2016

Beekenkamp And Danziger Partner To Distribute Poinsetti…

Danziger is continuing to expand its portfolio of products to the U.S. market with the addition of poinsettia cuttings of Beekenkamp’s varieties.

Read More

January 24, 2016

Positive Consumer Experiences Help Advance The Orchid C…

HGTV HOME Plant Collection plans to expand its Fresh Style product line through a partnership with Green Circle Growers (Oberlin, Ohio), which will supply decorative orchids, tropical plants, and indoor garden combinations. Greenhouse Grower asked Maxwell Sherer about Green Circle's orchid program, the latest trends he’s seeing, and where he thinks orchid growing is headed in the future.

Read More
Sansevieria in Corner of home

January 21, 2016

Tropical And Indoor Foliage Plants Emerge As A Lifestyl…

Consumers are incorporating houseplants into their everyday lives, which is driving the trends toward smaller-size plants and unique products that appeal to a younger demographic.

Read More
Pollinator-Conference-NC State

January 20, 2016

How To Promote Pollinator-Friendly Plants This Spring

Following last year’s launch of the National Pollinator Garden Network, groups like the National Garden Bureau and others remind growers that offering pollinator-friendly plants is a great way to keep up with consumer demand.

Read More
Caladium Painted Frog Series (Plants Nouveau)

January 17, 2016

16 New Foliage Plants To Round Out The Garden

Every garden needs a good mix of flowering and foliage plants for an attention-grabbing show of thrillers, fillers, and spillers. These new foliage varieties will not only act as a lush backdrop for colorful blooms, they can also stand on their own with their noteworthy textures and colors.

Read More
California Coast

January 13, 2016

Mark Your Calendars For The 2016 California Spring Tri…

It’s time to think about registering for the 2016 California Spring Trials. You won’t want to miss any stops along the way, so use this quick reference to help with planning for your trip.

Read More
David Roberts Bailey Nuseries Feature Image

January 12, 2016

Bailey Nurseries’ David Roberts Says New, Novel Varieti…

Roberts was recently hired by Bailey Nurseries to be the General Manager and Breeder for Plant Introductions, Inc., which Bailey acquired last year.

Read More
Kelly Norris - feature

January 11, 2016

Kelly Norris: Questioning The Purpose Of New Plants

Norris asks if the time has come to rethink new plant introductions, or how we market them to consumers.

Read More
Weeks Roses Miss Congeniality

January 11, 2016

Weeks Roses Introduces New Lineup Of Roses For 2016

Weeks breeds and grows a wide range of rose bushes, all of which are field tested for many factors.

Read More
CAST2015_Floranova_Vegetalis_Ageratum Cloud Nine Blue

January 8, 2016

Floranova Opening New Chile-Based Research Station, For…

Floranova has announced it is building a new research station in Chile that will open in mid-2016. As a result, the company will not participate in the 2016 California Spring Trials, but says it will be back in 2017.

Read More
Streptocarpus 'Yellow Blue Eye' (Green Fuse Botanicals)

January 5, 2016

15 Flowering Foliage And Tropical Plants For The Home A…

Tropical and foliage plants are the ultimate lifestyle plants because they enrich the environment and provide mood-boosting benefits. Take into account some of these new introductions for a crop mix that helps your customers realize the true benefits of plants.

Read More
BallSeed-WebTrackToGo-app Feature Image

January 5, 2016

Ball Seed Launches WebTrack To Go App For Mobile Phones…

The app is available for free in the Google Play and iTunes app stores, and serves as a companion to Ball’s full WebTrack business management system.

Read More
Terra Nova Garden Decorating Guide

December 31, 2015

Terra Nova Nurseries Releases New Garden Decorating Gui…

The guide’s wheel-shaped design groups new plants by color and was inspired by the Pantone Matching System color guide.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]