POLLINATION PALS: 3 Summer Blooms to Plant in Your Garden
native to Wisconsin, these buds will sprout joy for all our favorite pollinators
The local grocery store might have what you think you need for starting a flower garden, however, you might want to take a closer look at the seeds inside.
Most pre-mixed seed starters come with a variety of native and invasive plants that won’t support the local ecosystem as much as you’d like it to. Taking an initial step to focus on native plants will support local birds, butterflies, and pollinators that are rapidly declining. Plus, native plants lower erosion rates, are more resilient to the landscape and will bloom beautifully when tended to.
Making for a great Mother’s Day gift as well, here are 3 native plants that bloom in summer:
- Common Milkweed
The plant that solely hosts the eggs and larvae of the Monarch butterfly, milkweed is an essential plant to any garden. It can grow in almost any soil but needs direct sunlight to fully grow. Common milkweed is often found in disconnected meridians or greenhouses, making it difficult for Monarchs to find. The more milkweed in the area, the more Monarchs; the more Monarchs, the more pollinators overall — so get planting!
- Wild Bergamot (Bee Balm)
For tea and nectar lovers alike, this plant is part of the mint family and produces beautiful lavender petals when in bloom. Tolerant to most soil, this plant needs mostly sun with some shade. Great for supporting our moths, birds, and bees, especially the endangered rusty patched bumble bee, the aroma of wild bergamot is a wonderful addition to any green space.
Pale Purple Coneflower
A plant that pops up daisy-like flowers all over the Chippewa Valley, this plant specifically nurtures local bird populations. They’re a threatened plant and a remnant of native prairies that used to thrive in Wisconsin. Their vibrant purple attracts local hummingbirds to feed on their nectar, and the bulbous flower middle faces upward while the petals droop below in a ray-like form. Beautiful and strong, this plant also reminds me of my mom.
Learn more about all kinds of native plants, flowers, and pollinators with the Wisconsin DNR online. Buy locally grown native plants with Beaver Creek Reserve at their Native Plant Sale online May 3-10 with pick-up days on May 12-13; more information at Beaver Creek's website.