About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Pollinator Garden

It's spring and the new gardening season begins. If you've got plans to create a new garden bed or to revamp an old one, why not create a 'pollinator garden.'

 It's no secret that pollinators, especially honey bees have been declining in recent years. Pollinators are essential in order for successful harvests of food crops.

You can help by adding pollinator-loving plants to your garden. It's super easy and you'll be able to enjoy the beautiful blooms, as well as attract more butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

Flowering plants that are recommended for the central Florida area are:

Annuals & Perennials:  Cannas,  Impatiens, Marigolds, Nasturtians, Pentas, Purple coneflowers, Salvia, Shrimp plant, Sunflowers (especially Mexican), Lantana, Cosmos, Zinnias, Powder Puff, Portulaca, Blue Daze, many varieties of Jasmine, Milkweed.

Natives - Spotted Bee Balm, Blue Curl, Gaillardia (Indian Blanket Flower), Canna Flaccida, Black-eyed Susan, Coreopsis (Tickseed), Stoke's Aster, Pickerelweed, Adam's Needle. 

Herbs: Thyme, Mint, Basil.

Vines: Coral honeysuckle, Passionflower, Carolina Jessamine, Cross Vine, Trumpet Creeper.  All of these vines are native to Florida. Note: The native passionflower vines are Passiflora Incarnata and Corky Stem 'Passiflora Suberosa.

Other: Saw Palmetto, Walter's Viburnum, Chaste Tree, Sea Grape, Bottlebrush trees, Spanish Bayonet, Ligustrum, Southern Magnolia. Liriope.

These are just some of the plants that pollinators will love that are easy to find in nursery centers.

~ ~ Gardener's Beware ~ ~
Many "Bee-Friendly" plants sold at nursery centers have had "Bee-Toxic Pesticides" applied to them.  These plants will KILL the pollinators when they visit the plants.

The Good News - Plant growers are now required to include a label on the plant which indicates that it's been treated with  Neonicotinoids which are systemic pesticides. The pesticide is taken up through the roots and leaves and is distributed throughout the entire plant - including the pollen and nectar.

Please look for this label (which may not always be easy to find), and AVOID purchasing any plant treated with Neonicotinoids.

Everyone Can Have a Pollinator Garden

If you have a mostly shady garden, a small garden, or live in a condo or apartment - you CAN have a pollinator garden. Consider planting a container garden filled and overflowing with pollinator plants. You don't need a large space to have an impact.

Photo credit: Google Images

Get those 'pollinator gardens' growing and send me a photo on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Central-Florida-Gardener-197232317050577/) and I will gladly share them through the summer to help inspire other Florida gardeners. 

Also, leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite pollinator plants are. 


Cody Zinker said...

Thanks for the heads up about big box stores selling treated flowering plants. How can they even be allowed with the issues we are having with bee populations dropping.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Great post! I saved the list to my 'puter. Some I have growing here already.

Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

daisy gurl said...

We have many natives and Florida-friendly plants, so we see a lot of pollinator action in our garden. Some favs are beach sunflower, cosmos, pentas, bulbine and milkweed. You're invited to share this wonderful outside post on this week's Maple Hill Hop! Enjoy your pollinators!

Sarah said...

A great way to get pollinators to your garden is to let some of your fall garden bolt: mustard, daikon radishes, pac choi, etc. The flowers are some of the first welcome pops of color and attract pollinators to my garden. The flowers are a beautiful and tasty addition to salads too!

Susan said...

Sarah - Great suggestion! Pollinators are definitely attracted to the blooms on vegetable plants. Thanks for sharing that tip.