A good number of gardeners plan their gardens around blooming in the spring and summer months, but they don’t spend much time thinking about flowers that will bloom in the fall. For those who are interested in helping pollinators, though, it might be something to begin considering.
In the spring and summer, plenty of flowers are blooming, and therefore pollinators have a plentiful source of food. In the fall, plant life is beginning to become less prevalent, and pollinators find it more and more difficult to find sustenance. The trouble with this is that this is the time when pollinators need to be preparing for winter, and need to have enough nectar and pollen to create a stockpile of food to get them through the cold months.
Naturally, every region has its own specific group of plants that bloom inthe fall, so finding out which ones will take a little bit of research on the part of the gardener. Luckily, the Pollinator Partnership has created guides for each area of North America, which can be found here. Beepods has also put together a seed packet that is filled with a mix of wildflower seeds that pollinators will love. More information about this packet can be found here on the Beepods website.
Having these plants around will benefit many species of pollinators. Hummingbirds and Monarch Butterflies will be heading south, and need to eat as much as possible to fuel them on their journeys. Bumblebees and honeybees need to gather as much pollen and nectar as they can to create food stores within their hives so that they’ll have plenty to eat during the winter.
Having fall-blooming plants in the garden will also benefit the gardener. A landscape filled with colorful blooms is much more interesting to look at than a green and brown patch made up of the dead or dormant stems of spring- and summer-blooming plants.
These plants don’t have to be limited to a garden, either. In addition to flowers, there are some trees and shrubs that pollinators love that could be planted anywhere around the yard. There are also a few pollinator-friendly vines that would be lovely climbing up a trellis or the side of a building. The possibilities for creating a pollinator haven in your yard in the autumn are endless!
So, the next time you are planning out your garden, consider putting in plants that will bloom in the spring, summer, and in the fall. Not only will your garden look beautiful for longer, it will benefit many species of pollinators who will add life and more beautiful blooms to your garden.