There’s a lot of talk about encouraging pollinators to visit your yard by featuring some of their favorite plants, like pentas, cone flowers, salvia, and lantanta, which can attract bees, butterflies, and birds to your yard. But why is it so important?
Plant Reproduction 101
To understand the importance of pollinators, we need to first revisit some basic environmental science.
Pollination occurs when pollen from the male anther of a flower is transferred to the female stigma. Flower seeds can only be created when pollen is transferred between flowers of the same species. Of course, the goal is future offspring. And, the same is true for every living organism. While some plants can self-pollinate, many require cross-pollination to reproduce.
Flowers rely on variables like wind, water, birds, insects, butterflies, and more that visit the flowers to transfer pollen. Pollination is an unintentional, but necessary, result for plants that must cross-pollinate to reproduce.
Why are Pollinators Important?
Pollinators are responsible for approximately three-quarters of our essential food crops. Some crops, like wheat, can be pollinated by wind. But, many others that we rely on daily for healthy and balanced nutrition require activity from pollinators. For example, items like vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
Furthermore, the majority of plant species in habitats outside of the agricultural scope must be pollinated by animals and insects.
The relationship between plants and pollinators is mutually beneficial. You ensure the reproduction of both when you attract pollinators to your yard! One group cannot exist without the other. Preservation of this seemingly subtle process in our ecosystem is crucial.
We know the majority of plants in natural habitats require animal-mediated pollination to continue reproducing. So, it’s important to note that conservation of these plants (and therefore their pollinators) is essential in finding cures for diseases. Historically, humans have turned to the plant world to seek relief for ailments. Approximately 74% of today’s medicines are derived from plants. If we fail to encourage reproduction in plants through conservation of necessary pollinators, we are the creators of our own demise. Bring a bee, butterfly, or bird to your yard today!
Stop by the Garden Center to select a few plants for your garden sure to bring some pollinators to your yard this summer. We’ll get you growing!