Hive of honey bees grouped together on a honeycomb

Growing a Pollinator-Friendly Yard

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the decline in pollinator populations worldwide. Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and other insects play a vital role in our ecosystem by aiding in the reproduction of plants. By creating a pollinator-friendly lawn, not only can we help support these essential creatures, but we can also enhance the beauty of our outdoor spaces. In this article, we will explore some practical tips and plant suggestions to transform your lawn into a thriving haven for pollinators.

Be(e) Diverse:

One major principle of a pollinator-friendly lawn is incorporating a diverse range of plants. This diversity provides an array of nectar sources, shelter, and pollen throughout the entire growing season. Aim to incorporate a mix of perennial grasses, native wildflowers, and flowering shrubs.

Beautiful garden with green grass and stepping stone paths

Opt for Natives:

Native plants will be well-adapted to your local conditions and can be a great choice for attracting and supporting native pollinators. They have co-evolved with local insects and provide the ideal food source and habitat. Look into native plant species suitable for your location, being sure to take into account your soil type and amount of sunlight.

Two honey bees pollinating a bright yellow flower in spring

Flowering Perennials:

In order to cut down on the yearly work on your part, choose to plant some flowering perennials as they return every year, providing a stable food source for pollinators. Consider selecting some of the following:

Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - These gorgeous flowers seem like a magnet for butterflies and bees. They also come in various colors like purple, pink, and white. 

Two beautiful bright magenta cone flowers

Bee Balm (Monarda spp.) - These plants are great for attracting bees and hummingbirds to your yard. Its tubular flowers come in shades of pink, red, purple, and white. 

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) - Goldenrods add a flash of yellow color to your yard and are a favorite of many pollinators and even some birds, as well. 

Beneficial Trees and Shrubs:

Trees and shrubs not only offer shade and structure in your yard but they can also supply nectar and pollen. Consider some of the following options:

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) - The purple or pink flowers of a redbud tree are a source of early-season nectar and pollen for bees. This can be important early in the year when many other flowers may not yet be in bloom. 

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja spp.) - This shrub is a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds, boasting clusters of fragrant, cone-shaped flowers.

Purple flowers on stalks emerging from a butterfly bush against a clear blue sky

Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) - The early spring blossoms of serviceberry attract bees and butterflies. Additionally, its berries are enjoyed by birds in the summer.

Weeds Aren’t All Bad:

If you have the appetite for it, add some crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) white clover (trifolium repens), or self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) to your lawn and opt for longer mowing heights to allow some weeds to flower for pollinator forage.

Close-up of a field of crimson clover

By transforming your yard into a pollinator-friendly haven, you can make a positive impact on your local ecosystem and enjoy the beauty of nature in your own backyard. Remember to embrace plant diversity, opt for natives when possible, and aim to have flowers blooming from spring through fall. Your efforts may help protect pollinators and contribute to a healthier planet for future generations. Let your yard bloom and buzz and create a pollinator-friendly yard today. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.