In last month’s blog, we emphasised the importance of being wildlife-friendly in achieving sustainability and boosting biodiversity. There’s no arguing that one of its greatest advantages is that it promotes pollination, which in turn produces fruits and seeds from which future crops would emerge from.
Pollination occurs when pollen grains from a flower’s male anther gets transferred to the female stigma. A variety of birds and insects aid in speeding up the process, but the thing is, not all plants draw the attention of these pollinators. There are even some plants that repel them altogether. Thus, if you are dead set on attracting these animals, we’ve compiled a list that you might find extremely helpful.
Widely known for their fragrant scent and lovely purple blooms, lavenders are also a rich source of pollen and nectar, making them a favourite among bees and butterflies alike. These are best planted in the spring and typically bloom during summer. Moreover, lavender is low-maintenance, doesn’t require too much watering, and can be grown on pots or soil.
The bottlebrush’s striking red flowers demand quite the attention, and that also applies to bees! Being a major producer of pollen and nectar, there’s no doubt as to why the shrub is pollinator-approved. Bottlebrush is a native plant, too, which means that it is well-adapted to the Australian climate, and you won’t have a hard time growing it.
They say you reap what you sow, but as for starflowers? You sow little but reap big rewards! This plant may need little care, but aside from being an excellent bee-and-bug magnet, it also provides trace elements to the soil it grows in, making it an equally excellent plant for mulching and composting. If those benefits aren't exciting enough, know that it’s also self-seeding and edible! Hard to resist, right!?
Similar to the starflower, grevillea (AKA spider flower) is also native to Australia. Its ability to produce large amounts of pollen and nectar captivates birds to feed on them, and aside from this, its dense formation makes for a well-protected nesting site. This stunning plant blossoms all year, too—even in winter!
It’s almost winter time, and any gardener would understand how important it is to consider the season before planting anything. You can never go wrong with daisies, though. One of the country’s common winter flowers, daisies are also a popular choice for the tiny, winged pollinators.
People often regard the plant to be just another weed and do everything to eradicate it, but what they don't know is that the dandelion is actually a perennial herb that pollinators absolutely love! Indeed, it might pop its bright yellow head out without your permission, but if you’re looking to attract our flower-pollinating friends, dandelions are a hassle-free way to go. They require little to no maintenance, and undisturbed, can even last up to more than a decade.
While starflowers and spider flowers are native to Australia, correa flowers take it up a notch and are endemic to the country. Don’t be fooled by its droopy appearance, though, because its long, tubular petals are very appealing to pollinators, particularly those with long tongues and beaks, including blue-banded bees and eastern spinebills.
Rosemary is used for a multitude of purposes: essential oil, perfume, or even as a spice to add flavour to your favourite dish. However, it’s not just us humans who find the herb exceptionally useful. Even honeybees, bumblebees, mason bees, and other varieties flock to rosemary for a sip of its sweet nectar.
Another herb that pollinators find attractive is sage. Like correa, it has a tubular shape that long-tongued species are after, and like rosemary, it has many uses and health benefits. This is the perfect herb to grow now that winter is fast approaching, as sage can thrive even in mild frosts.
If you’re in search of a plant that’d surely adore Australia’s sunshine, look no more. Zinnias delight in being under the sun and are hardy enough to withstand drought. Its lively blooms add a vibrant pop of colour to your garden and invite various pollinators to swing by.
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