Pollinator Gardening

We can help populations of native bees and other pollinators by providing a few simple features in our waterwise landscapes.
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Why Consider Gardening For Pollinators In Your Landscape?

Our native bees are different from honeybees. They are better pollinators, almost never sting, and are suffering from habitat loss. Providing flowers with pollen and nectar in every season means that you’ll have color year-round in your garden as well.

Native pollinators also include a variety of beneficial flies, wasps, and beetles. Although they might not sound appealing to have in your garden, these species are different from the flies, wasps, and beetles people normally think about. They are rarely noticed unless you are looking into flowers, but they help significantly with pollination and help control a variety of pest insects, such as aphids, in gardens by eating them.


Leave Room and Provide Materials for Tunnels and Nests

Many native bee species dig tunnels in which to lay their eggs. Leave some areas of your garden un-mulched so they have access to bare soil. Bumblebees create nests in small cavities that you can construct with small piles of rocks or logs. Logs, old branches, and hollow twigs from plant prunings become homes to mason and leafcutter bees, so if you are not in a wildfire danger area, find ways to artfully leave some of these around your yard to provide for their needs.

Many common pesticides kill the beneficial pollinators as well as their intended targets, and they are not needed to keep waterwise gardens thriving. Go no-spray to keep your yard and all its inhabitants healthy.


Sustenance in Every Season

Maximize the value of your garden to pollinators by providing pollen and nectar in every season. Your garden does not have to be a “pollinator-only garden.” By using highly productive pollinator plants, you can provide for the pollinators’ needs while incorporating any other landscaping ideas.

Explore our favorite pollinator plant pics below.

Pollinator Gardening Highlights

Leaving logs or cut branches in your landscape can provide homes for pollinators (as long as you are not located in a wildfire hazard area). Many native bee and beetle species create their nests in small hollows by tunneling holes in the dead wood. Eventually, they will leave these cavities or be eaten by birds or lizards. A new generation of bees and beetles will then use the chambers, and the habitat cycle moves on!Use your own tree trimmings if you have them, or ask local tree trimmers working in your neighborhood for a few logs or branches.
Provide homes for native cavity-dwelling bee species with hollow stems of varying diameters for them to nest in. The easiest way is to grow your own! Native sages provide perfect habitats once pruned back. Our native elderberries also have pithy stems that become great homes to pollinators. After pruning, cut the long stems into shorter sections 6”–12” in length, and lay them around your landscape as part of the mulch layer.

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Explore Pollinator Gardening at our Demonstration Garden

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Design Your Own Pollinator Garden

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