Plants For Pollinators

Support pollinators and other beneficial insects by planting flowers that provide nectar and pollen. 

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undefinedThe Northeast Pollinator Mix from American Meadows is carefully formulated with annual and perennial varieties to help a wide variety of pollinators in the Northeast region. The colorful, easy-to-grow wildflowers bloom from spring until frost, when pollinators need nectar most. This mixture contains 19 wildflowers, 8 annuals for first-year color, plus 11 perennials for second and successive years' bloom.You can find the full list of plant species here (scroll down to About This Product).

Planting and Care:

When to plant:

  • Plant the seeds in spring, wait until frosts are past.
  • You can also plant in summer, but you’ll have to water more. In fall, plant after killing frost and your seeds will winter over just fine and then sprout for you in early spring.
  • Blooms should start approximately 2 months after sprouting.

What to do:

  • Find a sunny spot (up to 5 sq. ft.).
  • Remove growth & spread seeds evenly (do not bury).
  • Lightly compress seeds into surface of the soil.
  • Keep soil moist until seedlings are 4-6” high.

Tips for Sustainable Gardening:

There are many sustainable gardening practices that you can use in your garden and landscape:

Choose your Plants Wisely

  • Add a diversity of plants that support native species including pollinators, insects, birds and other wildlife.
  • Learn more about pollinators and local efforts to support them here.Make an effort to create beneficial insect habitats.
  • Incorporate more native plants that are adapted to our region.Long Island Native Plant Initiative has a searchable database of Long Island natives.
  • Choose high-performing, low-maintenance ornamentals. Long Island Gold Medal Plantsare good examples of some underutilized high-performing plants for our region.
  • Do not plant non-native invasive plants and remove when they are present.Additional info on NYS prohibited invasive plants and alternatives can be found here.

Rethink Your Lawn

  • Reduce the amount of turf and install more areas with plants that provide habitat for insects, birds, and wildlife.
  • Choose best practices for your lawn, including irrigating efficiently, using a higher mowing height, leaving your clippings, fertilizing sparingly, and carefully considering what pesticides are necessary and choosing alternatives.Here’s a helpful guide by our partners at NYS IPM that discusses best practices for fertilizing, mowing, watering, as well as some tips on lawn problems, Our Land Our Water.

Don’t Forget About What’s Underground

Don’t Be Too Tidy

  • In the fall leave some leaf litter and hold off on trimming back perennial stems and spent flower heads.These provide some important habitat for pollinators, other beneficial insects, as well as foraging habitat for birds and other wildlife. Holding off on spring clean-up until the ground temps are about 55F, this will allow for hibernating native pollinators to emerge.

Want to Learn More?

Want to learn more about sustainable gardening? Check out our educational programs! We offer a wide variety of programs and lectures, and courses like Master Gardener Training and Joy of Gardening.

Do you have gardening questions or need advice? Call our Horticulture Phone Hot Line: 631-727-4126, Monday-Friday, 9am-12noon. Or submit insect, plant, and soil samples to one of our two Horticulture Diagnostic Labs.

Check out CCE-Suffolk’s hundreds of Horticulture Fact Sheets.

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Last updated April 19, 2024