Here in metro Atlanta, home and business owners take pride in their landscapes. Having a yard filled with trees and a colorful garden is appealing to the eye and benefits our ecosystem by providing food for essential pollinators such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. By now, most of us are fully aware of the value of these important creatures. By now, most of us are fully aware of the value of these essential creatures. They breathe life into our yards and are also enjoyable to watch. Here are a few tips and ideas on how you can attract pollinators to your metro Atlanta area property.
A number of animals and insects provide pollination, including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, wasps, bats, and even certain ants. Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from a male plant to a female plant. It is how flowers reproduce. Once the pollen reaches the female plant, seeds are produced. But many plants rely on pollinators to carry their pollen from flower to flower. In fact, over 75% of the world’s flowering plants rely on pollinators to grow. These plants include a variety of fruit, nut, and berry growing varieties, food that we eat and take for granted. A few of these include but are not limited to:
You can start by planting a variety of different flowers. Like us, pollinators have their favorite flowers, but for them, it’s not by choice. Certain species of butterflies have short snouts and can only drink from shallow flowers. Other butterfly species drink from flowers that are deep such as tulips and daffodils. Honeybees prefer flowers with specific colors like yellow, blue, white, and purple. Hummingbirds especially like the colors red, scarlet, orange, and white and choose the tubular flowers. We recommend planting a variety of different flowers in different colors to attract a number of other species.
Any size garden will do, so don’t worry if you only have don’t have a lot of room. The following plants are great ideas for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees:
Like all living things, pollinators need water to survive. Provide a shallow birdbath, pond, or other water feature to give pollinators a place to relax and drink. Be sure to change the water regularly, or these watering holes will turn into mosquito breeding areas.
Bees and butterflies travel long distances in search of nectar. While bees are great at building their own homes, butterflies are solitary creatures that live under bushes and leaves when the weather gets bad. Like birdhouses, butterflies and bat houses offer shelter. You can make your own or purchase them at your local nature or home good store. Place your butterfly house approximately four feet high on a post, fence, or tree in an area away from the wind. Post the house near trees, and plants butterflies are attracted to.
Bat houses should be mounted in an area that gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight and located at least 20 feet away from tree branches or other obstacles and 12 to 20 feet above the ground. If you are close to a natural water source, post your bat house as close to it as possible to provide the best possible vegetation. You can find more information for all pollinator houses on various websites across the internet dedicated to protecting and helping pollinators.
The flowers of many different trees offer a source of food for bees, providing them with nutrient-rich pollen and nectar. Some of these trees include crabapple, peach tree, apple, pear, cherry, and summersweet. Bushes such as the butterfly bush and hydrangea also make good choices.
Ensure your landscape looks it’s absolutely best by hiring the lawn care professionals at Environmental Turf Management. We are a full-service lawn and turf care provider in the metro Atlanta area. Our seven-step lawn fertilization program offers a custom blend of fertilizers designed to protect and nourish your property throughout the entire season. To help prevent and combat weeds from invading your pollinator-friendly landscape, we also offer both weed control and bed weed control. Our weed control will help ensure weeds do not take over your lawn, while our bed weed control will help protect that bright, colored garden you so elegantly designed to attract birds, bees, and butterflies.