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upat5
Jun 8, 2016 8:14 PM CST
Why is it that you can grow all kinds of wonderful native wildflowers for the pollinators and yet they choose dandelions and thistle?! I have never found dandelions listed as a host (nectar) plant for anything yet many species seem to prefer it. I have never seen anything on my columbine or hairy beardtongue...not even hummingbirds! *sigh*
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
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CarolHB
Jun 8, 2016 8:20 PM CST
I rarely see a b'fly go any where near the b'fly bushes, but they do seem to love the annuals. Who is it that decides which pollinators want which pollen? Probably cousins of whoever decides what to call the flower colors.
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.

upat5
Jun 9, 2016 4:34 AM CST
I agree Thanks Carol for your input! I was thinking that probably a lot of money would be lost (native plant nurseries) and people's pretty green lawns might be marred if we were all instructed to start spreading dandelion seeds to encourage greater numbers in otherwise devoid-of-life lawn grass to REALLY help the pollinators Rolling my eyes. Wish somebody would do a study to determine what the pollinators really prefer! Honestly, the top ones here are dandelions, thistle, joe pye, goldenrod, mountain mint and jewelweed. You don't really need to look too far for this stuff. Asclepias is good if you have monarchs but even the monarchs will pick their species...I have growing wild, lots of A. syriaca and A. quadrifolia but have yet to see a monarch on them. I'm going to go out and plant some more "weeds"... Smiling
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
Image
CarolHB
Jun 9, 2016 4:47 AM CST
With all those weeds you'll have lots of butterflies. With expensive fancy-dancy ornamentals the attraction seems to be to budworms and suchlike. Seems like the beneficials want us to keep it simple.
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Roses Annuals Composter Hybridizer Garden Ideas: Level 2
Cat Lover
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cwhitt
Jun 9, 2016 1:30 PM CST
In Ohio, we are told that dandelions are the very first source of pollen in the spring for bees, so to try to let the dandelions live if you can.
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Jun 9, 2016 1:44 PM CST
Of course, there are a multitude of insects that pollinate, not just the showy ones like butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. I'll bet the flowers you planted have plenty of insect life on them, if you just look for them. There's nothing wrong with wanting butterflies, but if your aim is to help the pollinjating fauna, I don't think you have failed at all. Smiling Thumbs up

upat5
Jun 9, 2016 2:25 PM CST
Oh my goodness! I agree I would never hurt a dandelion! In the summer I mow little trails through the long grass for my kids...we try to avoid ticks...but I go out of my way to protect the dandelions, always! We had a lot of rain this Spring and while that's great for growing things it seems to have delayed the native flowers so all that's visibly available right now are hawkweeds, fleabane, tall plantain and dandelions....they're all welcome! The hawkweeds are full of little iridescent flies and bees...these usually go for mountain mint but that is a late flowerer here. The hummingbirds keep swooping past the showy monardas but they are weeks away from flowering...I have watched the columbine and beardstongue carefully and have not once seen anything on them...I'm sure something must visit them but I just haven't seen them! Interesting thing is, and I forget...they may only have been looking at butterflies...but I came across a survey/study done in Delaware where they discovered that the native "pollinator" plants that people grow in their gardens don't always attract the insects they are supposed to host because they (the butterflies or insects) do not occur in region where the plant was grown! But, again, they may have been looking only at butterflies and as you said there's a LOT more to pollination than bees and butterflies!
Name: Bob
Clayton, NC (Zone 7b)
Ferns Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: North Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder
Dragonflies Ponds
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DigginDirt
Jul 16, 2016 12:17 PM CST
Maybe it's the same part of nature that causes kids to play with the boxes the new toy came in rather than the toy. Confused

George Washington Carver once said, "A weed is just a flower growing in the wrong place." Maybe we feel the flowers we plant are the most beautiful things in the world but the pollinators say "Blah" (at least when we're watching). It doesn't make the plant any less beautiful, and we can't be sure they aren't still being visited.
I have a couple Angel Trumpets (still not blooming yet) that are attracting some little green worm/caterpillar like crazy. The way he is eating, you would think he should be size of a small dragon. He won't touch the stuff growing "wild" on the other side of the fence. Crying

Perhaps we need to expand the saying, "You can lead a horse to water..." to include pollinators and plants!
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
Image
CarolHB
Jul 16, 2016 6:04 PM CST
I have finally observed a b'fly on the b'fly bush - it was A Monarch. Its their time of year in these parts. I don't have dandelions but I still see plenty of bees and whatevers and b'flys on whatever I do have. I'm not really fussed about it - if they don't like my plants they can go next door.
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.

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