Native flowering plants that bloom throughout the growing season enrich the landscape visually and provide food and nesting!
Even small gardens can support pollinators throughout the growing season by providing floral diversity. For example, bee diversity can be maximized by offering 15 or more flowering plant species. Different bees may have different flower preferences, so provide variety. As a general rule, gardeners who want to conserve bees should provide a minimum of three plant species that bloom at any given time during the growing season; spring, summer and fall.
This season-long food supply is especially critical early and late in the year. Native bees remain dormant throughout the winter and often need immediate food sources upon emergence in the spring. Bees that over-winter as adults, like bumble bees, often need late season nectar sources to build up their energy reserves for the long winter. Similarly, honeybees spend winter inside the hive living off honey from nectar they collected over the summer months. Without enough honey, honeybees can starve over the winter resulting in the entire hive dying off.
The chart below shows a sampling of native flowers, trees and shrubs that bloom from early spring through late fall and provide nectar and pollen to pollinators as well as beneficial insects that help keep garden pests under control.
To download a PDF of this chart, click here: Pollinator Chart CHAPP.