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
Our new Wet Area Wildflower Seed Mix is the perfect mix of colorful wildflowers and textural grasses for wet soil. A dozen perennial wildflowers, including favorites such as Aster, Milkweed, Liatris, Helenium, Joe Pye Weed, and more will provide flowers all season long to attract butterflies and other pollinators. These wildflowers are complemented by a range of perennial grasses that provide lush green foliage and interesting textures from small flowers and seed heads. While most wildflowers do best with well-draining soil, our Wet Area Mix is specially formulated to succeed in meadows or gardens near water features and streams. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
‘Under The Sea’ Zinnia Mix includes three colors that will remind you of the tropics! Nectar-rich berry purple, white sand, and coral pink flowers blooms all summer. Long-blooming flowers have rich colors and will attract butterflies and pollinators. Plant these easy-to-grow and deer resistant seeds in full sun – make sure to plant enough for cut flower bouquets! Annual. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
‘South of the Border’ Zinnia Mix is a bright, bold mix of yellow, red, and bicolor flowers. As the name hints, these flowers originated in warm, sunny Mexico, and are native to the Southwestern US as well. Count on Zinnias to attract butterflies and beneficial pollinators from summer right up until frost and provide plenty of excellent cut flowers. Zinnias are easy to grow and deer resistant. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow. Annual.
‘Fruity Beauty’ Zinnia Mix includes three candy-colored Zinnia varieties. Saturated coral, yellow, and orange flowers provide instant cheer with ruffled blooms all summer! Long-blooming annual flowers are nectar rich,and will attract plenty of pollinators. Zinnias are easy to grow, deer resistant, and will make beautiful, bright cut flowers. Annual. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
One of springs earliest woodland wildflowers, and always considered one of the most beautiful, native Hepatica is quite common in eastern forests. The blooms vary dramatically in color, and range from white to lavender to (rarely) pink. Growing from 4 to 6" in height, lovely Hepatcia will spread and naturalize over time in most soils with dappled sunlight. (Hepatica acutiloba)
Bloodroot’s unique, cigar-shaped leaves slowly unfurl and open into large, water lily-like foliage. Bearing pristine white flowers with golden-yellow centers, Bloodroot illuminates the garden floor with breathtaking springtime beauty. Happiest with partial shade and moist soils, Bloodroot gets its name from the crimson sap that flows through its roots and stems. (Sanguinaria canadensis)