Zinnias are a long-blooming pollinator favorite, including hummingbirds!
As Earth Day approaches on April 22, we’re getting excited to celebrate and do something positive for the environment. Lately, we’ve been talking about how to garden like it’s Earth Day every day. What does this mean? We outlined four key ways that you can make positive impacts with your garden on a daily basis!
Plant Native As Much As You Can
Plant Pollinators' Favorite Varieties
Provide Blooms And Habitat All Season Long
Do All That You Can, Big Or Small
Milkweed is an essential source of food for monarch butterflies
1. Plant Native As Much As You Can
Why plant native? There are dozens of reasons to add plants that are native to your climate, but we’ll focus on two of our favorite.
Native plants have evolved in your region to survive, which means they want to grow in your garden! Native plants often require less maintenance, water and fertilizer than non-natives. This is a tremendous help to both the gardener and the environment.
It has been proven that native plant species are better at supporting pollinators and local wildlife in your area, including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and more. Studies show that even a small increase in native plants in one garden can help boost the number of pollinators and wildlife visiting that area.
Swamp Milkweed and Butterfly Weed are great natives to add to your garden to help support the struggling monarch butterfly population. Milkweed is essential for monarchs, because it provides breeding grounds and their primary food source throughout the entire span of their lifecycle.
We like to add as many native plants as we can to our gardens so we can offer up habitat, breeding grounds, and food for pollinators all season long.
This garden pictured above is filled with non-native butterfly bush and daylilies, making a perfect place for a bee or butterfly to stop by.
If you’ve grown varieties like Butterfly Bush, Catmint (a unique perennial), Lavender, Sedum, Zinnia or Daises, you’ve experienced the constant buzz of pollinators coming to and from these varieties. And although they aren’t native, each offer up a specific function and food source for bees, butterflies and birds. Some of these non-natives – like Zinnia – are also long-blooming, providing a long-lasting source of nectar from early summer all the way until frost.
Sedum is a fantastic late-blooming variety for pollinators - this employee photo was taken in early October in Vermont.
3. Provide Blooms And Habitat All Season Long
In a perfect world, our gardens are a mix of native varieties, along with non-native pollinator favorites, for color and nectar from early spring all the way through frost. Providing blooms for birds, butterflies, and bees from spring until frost makes their migration journeys much easier - and therefor improves their chances of survival.
Late-season varieties such as Aster,Sedum and Goldenrod are an important source of food and energy for Monarchs heading south in the fall.
Along with your long-blooming garden filled with native plants and pollinator-favories, it's also helpful to provide a source of water for wildlife, such as a birdbath.
If you have a small space to garden in, planting pollinator favorite Marigolds, and providing a water source, can go a long way for a tired butterfly on its journey!
4. Do All That You Can, Big Or Small
There are so many different types of gardens and gardeners out there! Maybe you have acres of land and time to commit to create a Monarch Waystation. Or maybe you’re just starting out with window boxes on your city balcony, and you choose to plant pollinator-friendly plants in containers. When each of us does all that we can, big or small, we can make life a little easier for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.
So, this Earth Day, let’s celebrate the work we’re doing in our gardens all year long! We truly hope you’ll join us in this initiative to garden like it’s Earth Day every day.
Shop American Meadows Pollinator Friendly Wildflowers
The Spring Into Summer Wildflower Seed Mix (formerly known as Summer Splash) offers up some of the biggest color of any mixture we carry! With 44 easy-to-grow species, this is a great choice for new garden beds, replacing part of your lawn, or creating a naturalized meadow. Packed with heat-tolerant quick bloomers, this mix can be planted well into the summer for color in the first season. An easy, rewarding mix for those new to wildflowers and experts alike.
With its abundance of nectar-rich blooms, the Butterfly & Hummingbird Wildflower Seed Mix can be planted to attract beautiful pollinators in any region of the country. Containing 16 annual and perennial wildflowers including Wild Cosmos, Rocket Larkspur, Echinacea and Catchfly, this diverse blend delivers stunning color throughout the season. A great choice for a variety of soil types, this mix contains only 100% pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds. Guaranteed to grow.
The Monarch Butterfly Wildflower Mix is an easy-to-grow compilation of 27 wildflowers that will thrive in any sunny location throughout the US. Including 4 different types of Milkweed to ensure Monarchs have plenty of host plants to lay their eggs on, this mix also contains a variety of nectar-rich wildflowers for energizing monarch populations before they migrate. A blend of annuals and perennials provide early and lasting color. This is your go-to mixture for creating an official Monarch Waystation or simply helping out the local pollinators in your area.
This mixture attracts beneficial bugs to the garden. Beneficial bugs include lacewings, lady bugs, hover flies and parasitic wasps, which help to destroy harmful pests such as aphids, thrips and mites.
Butterfly Weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that's a staple in every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow, cold hardy, and does well in poor, dry soils. Long-lasting clusters of small, flat-topped flowers are crowned with a yellow, sun-kissed "corona" and bloom from June through August. Butterfly Weed is an important nectar source for Monarch butterflies and its leaves provide essential food for developing Monarch caterpillars - but expect to see a variety of pollinators making use of this plant. Please note the Bag of 3 are bareroots. (Asclepias tuberosa)
Nodding Onions add whimsical texture and soft pink-to-lilac color to the summer garden. Loose umbels of star-shaped flowers face downward, where you’re sure to find a visiting bumblebee. These easy-to-grow, deer resistant flowers will add a layer of detail to any garden design, including border edges, meadow-style gardens, or containers. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love the native flowers! (Allium cernuum)
'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent stems and flowerheads in place to overwinter will also attract birds. Coneflowers are notably tough native plants and 'Magnus' is no exception, withstanding drought, clay, humidity and harsh winter conditions without complaint. Easy to grow, this plant is a great choice for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. (Echinacea purpurea)
Give bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds what they need with our Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection. Compact varieties of Butterfly Weed, Bee Balm, and Salvia are ideal for small-space gardens and patio planters, supplying a consistent supply of nectar. A mix of popular, easy-to-grow perennials, these showy pollinator plants will delight with bright colors for years to come. Collection of 3 plants.