Have you ever considered adding flowers to your vegetable garden? Incorporating an array of vibrant flowers in and around your garden beds adds biodiversity and attract various pollinators that play a vital role in the production of fruits in your garden. Pollinators work hard to transfer pollen which in-turn produces fruit. Vegetables like squash and zucchini especially rely on pollinators as they produce separate male and female flowers and require the pollen be transferred from male to female in order to produce fruit and seeds. By selecting flowers with varying bloom seasons, you can create an appealing landing pad for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators that will increase the chance of pollination in your garden. Here are some flowers known for their pollinator-attracting abilities that you can add to your garden:
Cosmos are annual flowers that grace the garden with their vibrant blooms from the peak of summer to first fall frost. Available in a variety of colors, Cosmos can reach a potential height of 60 inches. These beautiful blooms act as a pollinator magnet to birds, bees, and butterflies and can survive in less-than-ideal soil conditions. Placing cosmos in the corners of your raised bed will not only create beautiful visual interest but invite an array of pollinators to your garden.
Bee balm, alternatively referred to as Wild Bergamot, is a perennial plant hardy from zones 4 to 9 that shows off its unique blooms from mid-to-late summer. This native North American plant is available in an array of bloom colors including white, pink, red, lavender, and purple. Growing between 2 to 4 feet tall, the tube-shaped blooms attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Including bee balm in your garden will foster a vibrant ecosystem and is sure to encourage pollinator activity.
Adding a cheerful touch to your garden, Marigolds are annual summer-bloomers available in hues of red, orange, and yellow. Depending on the type of Marigold, their heights can range from 6-inches to a towering 4-feet tall. In addition to attracting pollinators like moths and butterflies, marigolds have a reputation for repelling unwanted pests in the garden. By incorporating these joyful blooms into your garden, you not only invite pollinators but also create a natural pest deterrent.
Another native North American plant, Coneflower is a perennial that is hardy from zones 3 to 9. Also known as Echinacea, this plant typically reaches a height of 2 to 5 feet with a diverse assortment of colors, sizes, and shapes of flowers. Coneflower’s blooms serve as a magnet for a variety of birds and pollinators, inviting beneficial visitors to your garden. Exhibiting heat and drought tolerance, different varieties of Coneflower bloom as early as May while others show off their vibrant display throughout September.
Lavender, renowned for its enchanting blue-purple flowers, blooms from late spring to early summer. Hardy to zone 5, Lavender boasts a modest height range of 1 to 3 feet. Lavender is a relatively low-maintenance plant once established that is drought-tolerant and can grow in various soil conditions. Attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, this stunning plant adds both beauty, fragrance, and ecological benefits to any garden.
Adding a diverse array of flowers throughout your vegetable garden not only promotes a fruitful harvest, but also into introduces beautiful bursts of color. The presence of enticing blooms attracts an assortment of pollinators creating a balanced and thriving ecosystem while increasing the chances of successful pollination for your vegetables. This biodiversity helps control pests, improves soil health, and promotes overall garden resilience. Try adding these flowers around your vegetable garden and watch the pollinators work their magic!
----Photos from Haley Hawbaker