Tiny ladybug larvae on our chamomile blossoms
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Growing Herbs for Pollinators

Culinary herbs thrive in well-draining soil and full to partial sun. Herbs are not only delicious and nutritious for humans, they also make our gardens more biodiverse by providing food and habitat for beneficial insects of all kinds. 

Predatory insects like wasps, hoverflies, and beetles that eat our garden pests also seek out carbohydrates found in the nectar of flowers for a balanced diet. Insects like bees and butterflies that are key to pollinating various crops use leaves and stems of herbs as safe havens.

Thyme

Creeping thyme is a popular ground cover to plant in garden paths and of course thyme is a delicious culinary herb, but did you know that it is also an excellent habitat for hover flies? These beneficial insects lurk around the garden hunting aphids, so giving them a place to hover can help keep infestations of this common pest away.

Lovage 

This garden giant packs a potent celery flavor. Everything about this plant is BIG, so it provides plenty of space for beneficial insects to roost and casts a cooling shade when temps rise. You can bundle floppy stalks into a bunch with twine and leave them be all winter, the hollow stems are the perfect place for pollinators to take shelter from the rain. 

Fennel

Fennel’s leaves are similar in shape to dill, long and frilly, which provides a unique habitat. You’ll see the big yellow flowers of both fennel and dill crawling with biodiversity come mid Summer. 

Sage

Our purple sage blossoms are buzzing with bee activity this month. Their woody structure becomes a hardy habitat that can withstand the dry heat of the summer, making it a great garden choice for folks who aren’t around to water often. Oregano and rosemary share these same characteristics.

Chamomile

Chamomile gives an abundance of small fragrant flowers that offer calming effects to humans and a sweet habitat for insects. We discovered tiny ladybug larvae on our chamomile blossoms and welcomed the little aphid munchers to the garden.

Cilantro

As temperatures climb in summer months, cilantro is often one of the first plants to bolt, or make flowers that will turn into seeds. You can harvest the seed, aka coriander, or leave it in the garden for a fresh crop to sprout.

Consider leaving out a shallow dish of water near your flowering herbs this summer. Many pollinators, especially bees, need water to drink and cool off.