Rooted Gypsy Farms | Farm Fresh Produce in Grand Junction, Colorado

How to Plant a Pollinator Garden

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Pollinator Gardens are not only a great way to support our pollinators, but they also tend to be absolutely gorgeous!

Pollinator Gardens are not only a great way to support our pollinators, but they also tend to be absolutely gorgeous!

Before we get into the garden itself lets learn a little bit about the pollinators we are trying to attract.

Bees: Did you know there are over 4,000 species of bees in North America?! All of which are champion pollinators. The work they do to pollinate our crops is valued at 20 billion dollars a year! They are attracted to bright, sweet flowers and enjoy sunbathing.

Butterflies: Unlike bees, butterflies will travel long distances, distributing pollen near and far. They are also unique due to the extraordinary length of their proboscis or “tongue”. This allows them the pollinate plants with deeper flowers. Red has been observed to be their favorite color.

Birds: Hummingbirds. Sunbirds, Honeyeaters and numerous other birds are not only great pollinators, but they are very pleasant to have around your garden. They are the primary pollinators of wildflowers across the country.

Of course, there are more pollinators than we can share here, including beetles, moths, ants and bats. The Pollinator Garden that we have designed here is focused at attracting bees, but other pollinators will certainly show up and benefit from your garden as well.


Before planting your garden there are a few things to consider:

1.        Location. Bees and other pollinators are energized by the sun. When selecting a location for your garden just make sure there is a nice sunny area nearby. A birdbath or small body of water is a plus! Bonus tip: place violet colored stones or beads in your birdbath, with some stones sticking out of the water, this will draw bees to a safe place to bathe.

2.       Variety. The more choices the better. This means you should select plants that have flowers of different colors, shapes and sizes. You should also consider when your plants will bloom. You should do your best to have a few plants in bloom from early spring to late fall. Our list below will highlight the blooming season of particular plants, so as long you have one from the beginning, middle and end you should be well prepared!

3.       Preference. Although this is a garden dedicated to our pollinators, there is no reason why it can’t be pleasing and useful to you as well. We have put in place some useful guidelines, but ultimately, you can decide what to plant in your pollinator garden depending on the kind of plants you fancy. Use your creativity to create a radiant garden that everyone can enjoy.

Perennial VS Annual

Perennial Plants: Since perennials are reoccurring, they require more long-term upkeep. However, once the plants are established, they will continue to grow and produce for up to 30 years, typically growing larger each year. Meaning less work for you and more flowers for the pollinators.

Annual Plants: Although annuals only last one season, they are delightful in a garden and pollinators adore them. They typically are more colorful and flashier than perennials meaning they add a very special touch to any garden. The temporary nature of annuals makes them excellent to use in a space that changes often. They also are perfect for small gardens or even a container garden on your patio.

The ideal Pollinator Garden combines both perennials and annuals to create a beautiful, functional garden.


20 Plants For Your Pollinator Garden

In order from earliest bloom to latest bloom

Keep in mind that many of these come in multiple varieties so you can select colors that are most appealing to you.

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Zinnias

Annual

Blooms Early Spring—-Late-Summer

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Thyme

Perennial.

Blooms Early Spring—-Mid-Summer

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White Clover

Perennial

Blooms Early Spring—-Mid-Summer

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Foothill Penstemon

Perennial

Blooms Early Spring—-Mid-Spring

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Snap Dragon

Annual

Blooms Early Spring—-Mid Spring

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Bluebells

Perennial

Blooms Early Spring—-Mid Spring

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Honey Suckle

Perennial

Blooms Mid-Spring—-Mid- Fall

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Sage

Perennial

Blooms Mid-Spring—-Early Fall

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Chocolate Chip Carpet Bugle

Perennial

Blooms Mid-Spring—-Late Summer

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Forget-Me-Not

Biennial (Bloom in their second year then die back)

Blooms Mid-Spring—-Late Summer

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Lavender

Perennial

Blooms Mid-Spring—-Mid-Summer

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California Lilac

Perennial

Blooms Mid-Spring—--Mid-Summer

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Chives

Perennial

Blooms Mid-Spring—-Mid-Summer

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Rosemary

Perennial

Blooms Early Summer—-Early Fall

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Black-Eyed Susan

Annual

Blooms Early-Summer—-Early Fall

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Marjoram

Perennial

Blooms Early Summer—-Late Summer

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Foxglove

Biennial (Bloom in their second year then dies back)

Blooms Early Summer—-Late Summer

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Wild Bergamot (Bee Balm)

Perennial

Blooms Early Summer—-Late Summer

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Bachelor’s Button

Annual

Blooms Mid-Summer—-Mid-Fall

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Asters

Annual

Blooms Mid-Summer—-Late Fall


Some Bonus Plants for Nocturnal Pollinators:

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Datura

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Yucca


Of course these are only a handful of hundreds of plants that you could grow in your Pollinator Garden. The possibilities are endless. Just remember these basics:

  • Select plants that bloom at different times throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall

  • Avoid using pesticides or artificial fertilizers

  • Use a large variety of plants to appeal to the most pollinators

  • Incorporate other aspects besides plants, this can include fresh water and bee hotels!

Now that you know how to plant a Pollinator Garden, get outside and go play in the dirt. Soon enough you will have a beautiful garden with an abundance of Pollinators! Happy Gardening!!!