Pollination is essential for flowers to reproduce. Watching hummingbirds, bees and butterflies visit your garden is always an exciting and pleasurable experience. Aside from being an enjoyable experience, having pollinators is crucial to maintain healthy gardens. Looking to attract some pollinators into your garden? Then keep on reading!
Hummingbirds act as an important role in the pollination of a variety of flower types. In fact, several flowers have evolved with distinctive characteristics to attract hummingbirds to support reproduction. Hummingbirds are actually ideal pollinators for many flowers because they feed regularly.
How Do Flowers Attract Hummingbirds?
Flowers attract hummingbirds through their color, and shape. Additionally, they are attracted to a flower’s position, bloom time, and nectar production. Color plays a big role in attracting hummingbirds unlike scent (which is not a strong sense for them). In terms of specific colors, hummingbirds are most drawn to red, pink, yellow, and orange blooms. To attract attention, flowers can have solid colors or patterns of those colors.
A plant’s shape is also important in attracting hummingbirds. To keep birds interacting with pollen for longer amounts of time and adapt to their appetite, long, tube-shaped buds are ideal. This is because the tubes can hold a bigger portion of nectar. Flowers with a funnel-like shape are most popular for attracting hummingbirds.
The angle of a plant’s blooms participates in attracting different hummingbird species that can have different bill shapes. Flowers are generally positioned in a way that can accommodate hummingbirds. This is so they can comfortably feed while hanging but without having their wings touch nearby leaves or stems.
With regards to bloom time, hummingbirds rely on flowers that are open and accessible during the day. Furthermore, hummingbirds are attracted to flowers that produce lots of nectar. More nectar leads to more birds visiting, and therefore lead to a greater chance of pollination occurring.
Which Flowers Attract Hummingbirds?
There are a variety of different flowers that attract hummingbirds including:
- Cardinal Flower
- Trumpet Creeper
How Do Bees Pollinate?
When a bee sucks up the nectar or pollen from flowers, some pollen from the stamens (the flower’s male reproductive organ) sticks to the bees’ hairs. When visiting the next flower, some of this pollen is transferred onto the stigma, or the flower’s female reproductive organ which makes fertilization possible.
What Plants Attract Bees?
Some plants that are great at attracting bees include:
- Bee balm
How Do Butterflies Pollinate?
Butterflies are like bees when it comes to pollination. They drink nectar from blossoms on plants and collect pollen while they sip a flower's nectar. When they move on to another plant, the pollen moves as well, which helps them pollinate the plants.
What Plants Attract Butterflies?
- Bee Balm
All in all, pollination is extremely important as it is what helps maintain our ecosystem. Just like us humans, living organisms such as plants have a goal to produce offspring for the future generations. Without pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, survival would be impossible.
Written by: Michele Tornheim