Which Annual Flowers Are Likeliest to Attract Bees?

An update last week from University of Minnesota Extension indicated that, “Minnesotans eager to help pollinators now can turn to research at the University of Minnesota Extension, which looked at which annual flowers likeliest to attract bees, butterflies, moths and other insects.

Zinnias topped the list of 24 varieties Extension Master Gardeners studied for eight weeks in 2016.”

The Extension update pointed out that, “Native grasses are attractive, low-maintenance additions to the landscape that also benefit pollinators.

“Extension horticulturist Mary Meyer has studied native grasses for nearly 30 years. She recommended little bluestem, big bluestem, blue grama, switch grass, side-oats grama, lake sedge and prairie dropseed as larval food for native skipper butterflies.

“‘The decline of native grasses caused the loss of habitat for many grassland butterflies and moths,’ Meyer said.”

Last week’s update added that, “Native grasses need little, if any, watering once they’re established and require no fertilizer. As they establish, they help minimize erosion and increase organic matter, creating better soil conditions.”

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