When pollinators like bees, butterflies, birds, and some bats move nectar from flower to flower, they aren’t just feeding themselves. They are also helping seeds, fruits, and more plants grow!
Let’s Get Started
Plants and their pollinators make perfect pairs, but sometimes they need a little help finding each other. Why not create a “pollination station” in your neighborhood where they can meet up? Just plant some of the pollinators’ favorite flowers in your yard or pots on your patio or balcony.
Our buzzing friends tend to like yellow, blue, and purple flowers with lots of nectar and a sweet smell. Examples are mint, thyme, lavender, and bee balm.
Hummingbirds go for red, orange, and purple tube-shaped flowers with lots of nectar. No need for a landing pad (they hover) or odor (they don’t have a strong sense of smell). Examples are nasturtium, scarlet runner bean, and cardinal flower.
Butterflies like brightly colored flowers (red, orange, yellow, pink, blue) with flat landing pads. Examples are purple coneflower, milkweed, zinnia, cosmos, and marigold.
Moths fly at night, so they are attracted to white or pale-colored flowers that are open after dark. Examples are evening primrose, yucca, and moonflower.
Some kinds of bats in the Southwest also look for night-blooming, light-colored flowers. These nectar-eaters seek out strong, fruity odors. Examples are cactus, agave, and banana.
Document Your Discoveries
- Describe or draw the spring signs you observed in your Nature Notebook.
- Remember to watch wildlife from a safe distance. Never disturb any of the animals you find.
Bonus: Make a fruit mash, or puddling dish to attract and support butterflies.