Perry's Perennial Pages, Perennial Arcade Quiz

Best Practices for Pollinators

Bees, flies, beetles, butterflies, moths and even wasps pollinate flowers.  It isn't good enough just to have a diversity of the right flowers, and places for them to nest, you must have good gardening practices to encourage and provide for them, and not cause them harm or death.  Which of these are good (beneficial) or bad (destructive) gardening practices to follow for pollinators? More on these can be found in Pollinators of Native Plants by Heather Holm.  answers follow.

1.  avoiding tilling and soil disturbance
2. minimizing mulching, leaving areas of bare soil
3.removing branches, downed logs
4. increasing the size of lawns
5.providing flowering plants all season
6. plant a diversity of native plants with various flower forms
7. mowing/spraying larval host plants (often weeds)
8. removing invasive plant species

9.using insecticides, particularly systemic ones

10. eliminating weedy goldenrods



1. good-- avoids destroying ground nesters

2. good-- provides sites for ground nesters-- about 70% of bees

3. bad-- removes places for cavity nesters

4. bad--no flowers to pollinate, no bare soil for nesting

5. good--food resources all season

6. good--provides for different types of pollinators

7. bad--learn which plants larvae need, otherwise no pollinators will be produced

8. good--invasives displace native plants which native pollinators need for food

9. bad-- systemic ones remain in the plant and can poison pollinators; if spraying, do so when plants aren't in flower or pollinators present

10. bad-- there are many species, and most are among the top host plants for the most number of beneficial insects and pollinators

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