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Extension > Yard and Garden News > 2017 Flowers for Pollinators: Which annuals attract pollinators?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

2017 Flowers for Pollinators: Which annuals attract pollinators?

By Julie Weisenhorn, Extension Educator - Horticulture


Honey bees on Music Box Mix sunflower, one of the annual flowers in this study

Planting for pollinator health is on just about every gardener’s mind these days.

Bumble bee on Envy zinnia
While there is a lot of research on how native plants help pollinators, there’s not much on the interaction of pollinators and annual flowers. Many people want to do their part, but may only have space for annual plantings. There are conflicting references to the value of annual flowers as pollinator-friendly plants. Which annual flowers attract pollinators? We want to find out, so we designed this study to address how home gardeners might help reverse pollinator decline. Pollinators are attracted to such plant features as flower form, color, size, and pattern. We've been counting pollinators that visit selected varieties of annual flowers like Salvia, Zinnia, annual Rudbeckia, sunflowers, marigolds, cosmos, snapdragons, hyssop, etc. Read more: Flowers for Pollinators

Wonder how your own yard and garden measure up when it comes to pollinator-friendly habitat? Take the eight-question survey that asks "How pollinator-friendly is my landscape?" Are you a "Wanna Bee Pollinator Gardener", a "Bee Benefactor" or a "Pollinator Protector"? Find out!

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