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Create a Habitat for Monarch Butterflies

Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed; their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.), and monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs. With shifting land management practices, we have lost much milkweed from the landscape.

Please plant milkweed to support monarch populations, and their incredible migration! Planting milkweed is a great way to help other pollinators too, as they provide valuable nectar resources to a diverse suite of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. See back of page for suggested plants.

Bees are Beneficial

You’ve probably heard by now that bees in the U.S. are disappearing. There’s plenty you can do in your own garden to help local bee populations survive and thrive. The following tips will help you create a beautiful garden that is helpful to bees and other beneficial insects.

  1. Create Diversity and Color – Some creatures may be color blind, but not bees. The more color and the wider variety of flowers in your garden, the better. They are particularly fond of blue, purple, yellow, and white flowers.
  2. Use Native Plants – Bees in your area will be most attracted to native plants that they are familiar with, such as Milkweed (Butterfly Weed), Gaillardia, Beebalm (Monarda), Sunflower.
  3. Plant Flowers in Clusters – Larger groupings of flowers (instead of sporadically spaced single plants) attract more bees, although a small garden area or container plantings are beneficial.
  4. Plan for a Succession of Blooms – Plant some flowers that bloom in spring, some in summer, and some in fall. That will provide food for the bees over a long period of the year.
  5. Plant in Sunny Areas – Bees prefers to forage in sunny, protected areas where they won’t be bombarded by wind. Sunny spots produce the most prolific flowers as well.
  6. Put Flowers in the Vegetable Garden – If you intersperse some flowers that bees love with your veggies, it will help increase pollination of your vegetables for a better crop.
  7. Allow Some Vegetables and Herbs to Bolt – Leaving a few vegetables and herbs in the garden in the fall will allow them to flower and provide late season food for bees.
  8. Garden Organically – Use non-toxic forms of pest control. Traditional pesticides may kill beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

Flowers that Attract Bees:

Agastache, Bee Balm (Monarda), Butterfly Weed, Columbine, Cosmos, Daisy, Echinacea, Flax, Four O’Clocks, Foxglove, Gaillardia, Hollyhocks, Lavender, Lavender Hyssop, Lupine, Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa), Salvia, Sunflowers, Wallflower, Zinnia,
Herbs and Vegetables That Attract Bees (when flowering): Basil, Borage, Catnip, Chives, Cucumbers, Dill, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Melons, Onions, Pumpkins, Rosemary, Squash, Thyme, Mint

Basic Needs for Wildlife

The basic needs of bees, birds, and butterflies, are similar to our own needs; food, water, & protection. A wide variety of food will attract the most wildlife, such as flowers for nectar, seeds, berries, and insects. Adding water to your landscape will increase the frequency wildlife will feed and nest in your yard. Birdbaths, fountains, ponds, and even moist soil are all beneficial. Wildlife need protection or cover from the elements and from their predators. This is achieved by having a combination of both evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs, along with varying sizes and colors of annuals, herbs, perennials, and grasses.

Plants to Attract Bees, Birds, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds

Annuals

Ageratum
Alyssum
Cosmos
Daisy
Geranium

Gomphrena
Tropical Hibiscus
Impatiens
Lantana
Marigold

Milkweed
Nicotinia
Penta
Petunia
Plumbago

Salvia
Verbena
Zinnia

Perennials

Agastache
Astilbe
Bee Balm (Monarda)
Butterfly Weed
Cardinal Flower
Catmint
Columbine
Coreopsis
Daisy

Daylily
Dianthus
Echinacea
Foxglove
Gaillardia
Gaura
Heuchera
Hosta
Hardy Hibiscus

Joe-Pye Weed
Lupine
Milkweed
Penstemon
Peony
Phlox
Red Hot Poker
Rudberckia
Russian Sage

Salvia
Scabiosa
Sedum
Verbena
Veronica
Yarrow

Trees & Shrubs

Abelia
Arizona Cypress
Azalea
Beautyberry
Birch
Butterfly Bush
Carolina Jessamine
Crabapple
Desert Willow
Dogwood

Elderberry
Euonymus
Flowering Quince
Grape
Grass Ornamental
Holly
Honeysuckle
Lilac
Magnolia
Maple

Nandina
Oak
Photinia
Pine
Privet
Pussywillow
Redbud
Rose
Rose Of Sharon
Spiraea

Spruce
Sumac
Sweetspire
Trumpet Vine
Viburnum
Vitex
Weigela
Wisteria
Yucca

Herbs

Anise
Cilantro
Dill
Fennel

Lavender
Lovage
Marjoram
Mint

Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Rue

Sage
Thyme

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