Page 16 - Hawaii Renovation - May 22, 2022
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MAY 22, 2022
             Bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators play an important
role in our global ecosys- tem. In fact, they are es- sential. By transporting pollen from one plant to another, they make grow- ing the food we eat and the beautiful garden spaces we enjoy possible. One of the easiest ways to support a healthy growing environ- ment is to plant a diverse selection of plants, making sure to include the types of blooms that various pollina- tors love.
“Pollinator gardens pro- vide food for bees, but- terflies, moths, wasps and other helpful species,” says Diane Blazek, executive di- rector at National Garden Bureau. “In turn, they pol- linate the vegetables that produce our food. They really are essential. That’s why it is important for ev- eryone to do their part.”
You don’t have to devote a large space to pollina- tors to make a difference. Container gardens are a
great way to provide the food sources that pollina- tors need to thrive. Having movable containers can also come in very handy if you want to move your pol- linator gardens from space to space. Let’s say you re- ally want to attract bees but have company coming and there is a concern about the nearness of your beloved bees. It is easy to move the containers to another area of your garden for the du- ration of that visit. Simply move them to be visible from inside.
A diverse selection of plants attracts a diverse range of pollinators. Dif- ferent flower colors at- tract different pollinators but adding various flower shapes and forms is also important. Butterflies like flower clusters with flat, open blooms like yarrow, coneflower and zinnia. Bees and wasps prefer different types of flowers depending on their tongue length.
There are so many beauti- ful pollinator-friendly plant choices, the container com- binations are endless. Here are a few to get your pol- linator containers growing.
“National Garden Bureau chose Verbena as our An- nual of the Year and Phlox as our Perennial of the Year for 2022, due in part to their popularity with pollinators,” says Blazek. “Both Phlox and Verbena are beautiful, easy-to-grow flowers that are available in a wide vari- ety of colors.”
Compact Garden Phlox look stunning in larger con- tainers while groundcover types create a cascade of early spring flowers for pol- linators to feed on. Heat-lov- ing Verbena are available in mounding or trailing types that can be container cen- terpieces or softening ac- cent plants.
Coneflowers, or echina- cea, provide a summer pol- linator food source, then a fall/winter seed source, for
the birds. Compact varieties can be a wonderful addition to smaller containers, while taller types serve as the fo- cal point of the container. Since Coneflowers come in many color choices, you’re sure to find one to work with your color scheme.
Sedum flowers late sum- mer and early fall, providing a food source at a time when fewer floral resources are available. Look for Back in Black Sedum, an NGB Green Thumb Award winner, as a great addition to your fall pollinator garden.
The tall, spikey blooms of both annual and peren- nial Salvia are naturals in any pollinator garden. Ex- tremely easy to grow, and available in several differ- ent colors and species, they look beautiful in containers all on their own.
As its name suggests, Bee Balm, or monarda, is a prov- en feast for bees. Colorful, pom-pom shaped blooms planted in containers cap- ture the attention of both pollinators and humans.
The beautiful blooms of lavender are a big draw for pollinators, while the scent provides a welcome and calming invitation for all visi- tors to linger in the garden.
Sunflowers now come in compact sizes that are per- fect for containers. Choose from bushy, reblooming types or dwarf types, both of which can be used in pa- tio pots.
If you’re looking for a drought-tolerant, pollinator- friendly plant, Lantana is a good choice. Spreading va- rieties in a vast array of warm colors look great spilling over the edges of containers.
With its airy texture, Co- reopsis is another excellent choice for pollinator contain- ers. Bright-colored blooms are especially attractive to butterflies.
Don’t forget to water.
Container gardens will dry out faster than landscape plantings, so water more frequently to keep the soil evenly moist. For almost care-free gardening, con- sider using self-watering containers. Simply keep the water-holding reservoirs at capacity and your plants will be watered as needed.
In addition to a large se- lection of flower colors and textures, pollinators are at- tracted to blooms at vary- ing heights. Place your con- tainers on decorative plant stands to elevate contain- ers for a pleasing design.
Need additional informa- tion on attracting pollina- tors to the garden? Visit Na- tional Garden Bureau online here: portable-pollinator-gar- dens.
This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

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