Attract Native Pollinators

While it is cold and snowy outside and it may not seem like there is an end in sight, spring is just around the corner- why not think forward to spring and start making plans to have beautiful flowering plants throughout the remaining three seasons.

Insect pollinators, including bees, butterflies, beetles and flies, are responsible for one in every three bites we take. In addition to pollinating food plants, many native pollinators also control unwanted pests and improve soil quality. As an added bonus, attracting native pollinators to your property is beautiful, and pretty easy work! 

1. Diversity! Plant diverse colours and shapes of plants and plants that flower throughout the growing season. 

2. Plant flowers in clumps. This will reduce the distance that pollinators need to travel in order to gather pollen and nectar. 

3. Enhance habitat. Not only do pollinators require flowers for pollen and nectar, pollinators benefit from additions to the landscape such as shallow water baths for drinking. 

The endangered Behr's Hairstreak is found only where Antelope Brush habitat is- south of Penticton.  These little butterflies use antelope brush as their larval host plant and one of their favourite nectar plants is yarrow.

Arrowleaf balsamroot is a sure sign of spring on hillsides of the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys.

Monarch butterflies need milkweed to survive.  Plant the native Showy Milkweed for these iconic butterflies.

The Mormon Metalmark is found only in Cawston, Keremeos and through the Richter Pass.  This friendly butterfly needs snow flowering buckwheat to survive.

Whenever possible, don't use pesticides! Most pesticides are non-selective and harm beneficial insects you are trying to attract.

 For more information on how to attract native pollinators to your property, including a plant list and where you can purchase them in the Okanagan, see our Living in Nature Series Guide.