What is pollination?
Pollination is the process of moving pollen (male) from the anther in one flower to the stigma (female) in another flower of the same species. The act of successful pollination produces fertile seeds. Almost all flowering plants need to be pollinated. Some plants are self-pollinating but the majority of plants are pollinated
Bees require nectar and pollen for food. Bees love plants with striking
Bees and butterflies are attracted to color. Bees are especially attracted to blue, violet, purple, white and yellow. Bees prefer single flowers or flat flowers rather than
Different bee species have different tongue lengths, plant a variety of flower shapes to attract a diversity of bees. Plant a variety of plants; trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses.
All living things require water to live. Bees require a clean, shallow water source. Provide a bee bath in your yard. Provide ‘rock islands’ in your bird bath where bees can land and sip water from the side. Refresh water daily.
Plants to Attract Bees
Fruit trees: apples, pears, honeysuckle, sour cherries, Saskatoon,
Flowering herbs: thyme, oregano, lavender, mint, catnip, rosemary, borage
Vegetables: pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, peas, flowering broccoli and cabbage, tomatoes, squash
Candy tuff, Goldenrod
Joe Pye weed
Bellflower, Lamb’s ears
Globe thistle, native thistle
Queen Ann’s Lace
- Butterflies and moths belong to the Lepidoptera order of insects.
- As larvae grow, they go through a series of ‘instars’ and change in appearance.
- When fully mature, the larvae
developsinto a pupa, referred to a chrysalis at this stage (butterfly) or cocoon (moth).
- A few butterflies and many moth species spin a silk case or cocoon prior to pupating. Others may pupate in crevices or underground.
Common Prairie Butterflies Include:
- Canadian tiger swallowtail (Papilio
- Canadian tiger swallowtail (Papilio
- Skipper Butterfly (Family Hesperidae)
Yellowpatchor Peck’s skipper (Polites coras, Polites pekius) Silver spottedskipper
- Common checkered skipper
- Copper, Blue and Hairstreak Butterfly Family: Lycaenidae
azure(Celastrina neglecta) Greyhairstreak (Strymon melinus)
- Brushfoot Butterfly family: Nymphalidae
- Mourning cloak butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa)
- Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)
- Milbert’s tortoiseshell (Nymphalis
- Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
- Painted lady (Vanessa cardui)
- White or
sulphurbutterfly family: Pieridae
- Cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae)
In order to attract butterflies, you not only need to attract and feed adult butterflies on
Set flowers in sunny places, alongside some rocks or stone walls where they can settle.
Offer a few protected patches in the garden, specifically using shrubbery, tall grasses or brush piles, to protect butterflies from the elements, and to give caterpillars a nice safe place to pupate.
Nectar bearing plants are a magnet for adult butterflies. Examples: lilac, marigold, ornamental thistles, sunflower, sweet pea, verbena
Specific plants that will attract butterflies:
- Bee balm (Monarda didyma and other Monarda sp.)
- Butterfly bush
- Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
- Cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis)
- Coral bells (Heuchera sp.)
- Foxglove (Digitalis sp.)
- Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
- Monarda (see
- Scarlet trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
- Speedwell (Veronica sp)
- Spiderwort (Tradescantia sp.)
- Turk's cap lily (Lilium superbum)
Plants to attract specific butterflies
- Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) sweet fennel,
- Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) parsley, green fennel, dill
- Cabbage Whites (Pieris rapae) cabbage, radish, mustard, peppergrass, and related plants
- Checkered skipper (Pyrgus communis) mallow, hollyhock
white(Pontia protodice) mustard family
- Clouded sulfur (Colias philodice) alfalfa, clover
- Common Hairstreak (Hypolycaena
philippus) mallow family, hollyhock, rose and marsh mallows
- Monarch (Danaus plexippus) milkweed
- Mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) willow, aspen, cottonwood, elm
- Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) thistle, hollyhock, sunflower
- Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) nettle, false nettle, pellitory
- Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata) green ash, chokecherry
- Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta
claudia) passifloras, pansy
- Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio
rutulus) willow, cottonwood, chokecherry
Nectar Sources for Butterflies
- Asclepias sp. (milkweed, butterfly weed, etc.) for swallowtails, monarchs, hairstreaks and more.
- Aster sp.
- Buddleja sp (butterfly bush)
- Echinacea sp. (coneflower)
- Lantana sp.
- Verbena sp.
- Zinnia sp.
- Birds need a place to nest and live. Birds have different requirements for nesting sites. Some birds like to build their nests in evergreens (like pine or spruce). Other birds prefer deciduous trees (like oak, birch, apple, and ash) where they can make their homes either in the intersections of large branches or in cavities in the tree trunks. Some birds, like woodpeckers, prefer very large trees or dead standing trees for homes. Shrubs that are not too dense or thinly branched often make good homes for bird nests.
- Robins, Cedar Waxwings and Chipping Sparrows are some of the birds that will nest in small trees like dense ornamental cedars, junipers and similar trees. Large spruce trees may attract crows and grackles and later Merlins to the abandoned crow nest. When trees become large enough, woodpeckers or nuthatches may excavate nest holes. These holes may be used later by Black-capped Chickadees.
- When erecting birdhouses, make sure you choose the right
bird houseto attract the desirable bird.
- Provide shelter, food
andwater for your feathered friends. Birds need shelter ( man madeor natural) from weather elements like snow, wind, rain. Perches protected by overhangs, bird feeders with extended roofs, large trees, shrubs andeven grass will protect trees from the elements.
- Provide many different layers in your yard for birds: large trees to shrubs to perennials to annuals, some grasses. Remember birds live in nature, create a natural setting. Select a range of shrubs and plants so that there
isfood and shelter available year round.
- Create a brush pile at the edge of your property, starting with your old Christmas tree and any fallen branches. Create a
pilesix feet in length with loosely stacked branches. Brush piles provide cover for birds and attract insects to their decaying branches.
- Create a dust bath in a sunny spot near where the birds like to feed. Sparrows
in particularlike to spend hours playing on the dusty ground.
- Birds need water for drinking and bathing. Smaller birds prefer only about ½” of water while larger birds prefer 2” deep. Top up and change
waterdaily. Make sure the bird path or pond is in an open location where birds can clearly watch for predators and danger. Remember, cats are predators! Tie a bell around your catsneck to warn birds of the approaching enemy.
- Like all living creatures, birds need food. Food for birds can come from plants, fruit, seeds
andinsects. Include fruit trees like; small crabapples, Saskatoon berry, high bush cranberry, haskap or blue honeysuckle, pincherry, mountain ash, chokecherry, dogwood, hawthorn andhackberry in your landscape.
- Plant flowers that will produce seed in the summer can be a food source for birds in the winter. These plants
include:coneflower, sunflower, sedums, daisies, zinnias, golden rod, aster, echinaceae, rudbeckia, coreopsis, blazing star, native and non-native grasses that produce seed (ex. switchgrass, ‘Karl Foerster’, Indian grass, Little Blue Stem, Prairie Dropseed, Side Oats Gramma.
- Do not remove leaf litter from under your perennials or shrubs. This material provides an excellent home for bugs and insects that birds feed on. Refrain from using pesticides. Not only will pesticides kill beneficial insects but
they plantsand water sprayed with chemicals may be toxic to birds.
- Bird feeders are an excellent way to attract birds. Do some research and make sure you are supplying the correct bird seed for the bird you want to attract. Don’t waste your money on cheap birdseed that is full of filler seed that birds won’t eat. The filler only attracts rodents and may germinate in your garden, creating a high maintenance weed bed beneath your feeders.
- Hummingbirds need
nectar richplants and water. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only one found regularly in our area. Its arrival in spring coincides with the blooming of certain nectar-producing plants with which it has coevolvedover the millennia. Nectar plants provide a high-energy food source for these tiny creatures who can produce up to 200 wing strokes per second.
- To encourage hummingbirds in your yard, install a hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water near plants that will attract hummingbirds. Recommended plants include: tubular flowers like nicotiana, petunia, monarda/bee balm, red columbine, delphinium, hollyhock, butterfly bush, cardinal vine, lantana, phlox, coral bells,
impatients, gladiolas, gaillardia, foxglove, canna lily, dahlia, lantana, honeysuckle (vine and bush), begonia and fuschia.
- Hummingbirds prefer shelter from wind and some shade.
Bats are an important pollinator in many areas of the world. Over 300 species of fruits in the world depend on bats for flower pollination, especially mangoes. Calabash and sausage trees
Are bats harmful to people? While it is true that the North American bat can carry rabies, the incidence of bats with rabies is minimal. According to the website ‘Community Bat Programs of BC’ (www.bcbats.ca), only 0.5% of bats carry the rabies virus. Since 1970, 6 of the 7 cases of rabies in Canada were attributed to bats. Bat droppings can carry fungal spores that lead to
How do I attract bats to my yard?
- Grow a variety of plants, shrubs
andtrees in your yard to attract a variety of insects. Bats eat insects – make sure there is an ample supply. Pale blue and white flowers are easier to see at night and will encourage more active night insects (i.e. bat food).
- Plant night-scented flowers (ex.
night scentedstock, herbs, evening primrose, nicotiana, white jasmine)
- Build a pond/ have a water source. Fish will eat insects so if you want to encourage bats, limit the number of fish in your pond.
- Let your garden go a little wild – encourage some native flowers or weeds, provide a brush pile in a corner for insects and even bats to inhabit.
- Put up a bat box
- Reduce or remove artificial night lighting
- Keep your cat indoors at night – bats are active at night.