Celebrate Dads AND pollinators starting Father’s Day weekend! In honor of National Pollinator Week (June 18-24), get your free, limited-supply Pollinator Seed Mix packet at the Minnesota Zoo Butterfly Garden!
Check out the some of these amazing wildflowers – all Minnesota-native, locally sourced, and pesticides free – that you can plant with Dad! This mix includes many of our recommendations for What To Plant, including some of our Top 5!
Purple prairie clover:
Purple petals, orange pollen, and fuzzy silver make purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) a wild accent to any garden. Add in one of our native metallic green bee (stingless!), and you’ve hit the jackpot! It does well a variety of situations, blooming in early summer.
A terrific nectar source, the bold pink flowers of wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) are very popular with bumble bees, butterflies and moths, and hummingbirds.
A hardy plant suitable for many tricky locations, the drooping elongated red and yellow flowers of wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) are adored by bees and attract hummingbirds in spring and early summer. The dissected leaves are nice garden accents too!
Don’t leave native grasses out of your pollinator gardens! A common prairie bunchgrass, little bluestem (Schyzachrium scoparium) has become increasingly popular in home landscaping. Transitioning from blue during the summer to red-gold in autumn, it remains colorful throughout winter. Its late season seeds are become fluffy and silver-white. Native grasses are the caterpillar food plants for many butterflies, including skippers (including the endangered prairie butterflies the Minnesota Zoo is helping return to the wild) and satyrs!
Beyond the big spikes of purple flowers, this shrub of a cornerstone of healthy prairies. As a legume, Leadplant (Amorpha canescens) naturally adds useful nitrogen into the soil and is beneficial to other garden plants.
Few flowers have more pop more than the vibrant orange butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa). Besides the amazing flowers adored by pollinators of all forms, this sun-lover is also an important caterpillar host plant for Monarchs.
Smooth Blue Aster:
A delicate splash of violet in August and September, smooth blue aster (Symphiotrichum laevis) is one of the handful of flowers that are vital food sources for pollinators at end of the growing season. It tolerates more shade than some other asters.
Fragrant Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is a popular summer nectar source for many pollinators including butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. It prefers disturbed areas with well-draining soils.
Bees, butterflies and other animals pollinate most wild plants, and contribute to much of our food production, but many are also declining due to habitat loss and the lack of nectar and pollen resources. You can make a difference! No matter how large, pollinator gardens with native plants can have a huge impact! Get your free seed packets while they last!