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Grouping Plants and Flowers Important in Attracting Pollinators

Making It Grow Minute

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension. Groupings of plants and flowers is a key to good landscape design, and it turns out that grouping is important in attracting and supporting pollinators, too. Insects who collect pollen and nectar are more likely to find and visit clumps of the same plant material. Diversity is key, too, as pollinators come in all shapes and sizes . Different insects can only successfully get nectar out of certain flowers so try to have a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes of flowers in your pollinator plots. And have something blooming at all times –don’t forget about trees and shrubs. With early or late bloom. Keep a bowl with sloping sides filled with clean water nearby. And support nesting sites by having an area with bare ground (for solitary bees), mulch piles, a brush pile and other naturalized (a much nicer word than untidy) places.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.