Project Pollinator

Pollinator Pledge

Click HERE to download and sign the Pollinator Pledge

 

Project Pollinator Downtown Waterloo

The flowers that are used in the planters along 4th St. are varieties commonly found in area greenhouses. These are annuals that must be replanted every year. The best pollinator gardens are composed of native perennials but as the planters are stacked and stored over the winter, perennials were not an option for this project.

The flowers below were selected for their variety of colors and heights to be attractive to a variety of different pollinators.

Calibrachoa: Better Homes & Gardens call this flower a tiny petunia on steroids. As there has been a tradition of petunias along 4th St. in the past, this little flower pays homage to that, but in a multitude of colors. This short flower is great for containers and fills in spaces nicely.  You also do not need to dead head this flower, a bonus for maintenance over the growing season.

Alyssum: As the planters will be out in full sun all day, it was important to find flowers that could tolerate the direct sun and heat during July and August. The small purple and white flowers of the Alyssum will do just that.

Zinnias: Zinnias are great for color and their height helps to shade out any potential weeds. Their strong stems and large flowers are attractive to a multitude of pollinators especially butterflies and bumble bees. Zinnias like the heat and dry conditions so hopefully the rains won’t be too plentiful this summer.

Moss Roses: Coming in shades of red, yellow, white, orange, purple, and pink, this little flower doesn’t need much water.

Lantana: Butterflies and hummingbirds love Lantanas! This multi-colored flower is drought tolerant and the deer don’t like them.

Verbena: Selected for their long lasting blooms and tolerance to the hot dry conditions found downtown.

Yellow coreopsis: These yellow, daisy-like flowers are also known as tickseed for the small, brown, tick-like seeds they produce. This flower will attract many different kinds of pollinators.

Butterfly milkweed: To see if a perennial would work in the downtown growing conditions, we decided to try the plant most beneficial to the Monarch butterfly. Monarch butterflies will only lay their eggs on a milkweed ensuring their young, the caterpillar, has the correct type of food to eat, milkweed leaves.