When I was a little girl, I remember my grandmother’s bold red geraniums as the highlight of her patio garden (the pelargonium type, not the perennial geranium). Sitting in tall containers, the red flowers were bold statements against the white, 100 year old farmhouse she called home. In the modern garden I often see them as stand alone container plants (see above and below), yet there is an inherit issue with geraniums; they have lovely bold colors, but are tough to pollinate. Bees do not favor pelargonium geraniums and there have been studies that show pelargonium’s are one of the least favorite of all pollinators. Yet millions of the flowering plants are sold in garden centers every year. Below is a list 10 plants that attract pollinators by the droves – there are hundreds of other plants you can use to attract pollinators, but this will give you a good start in your container gardens.
- Dwarf Bee Balm
- Globe Basil
- Greek Oregano
- Verbena (photo right)
While I still love the memory of my grandmother’s geraniums, and want you to continue to enjoy them in your garden. I hope you will consider designing your container gardens this season with a few pollinator plants to support the bees mixed in with your pelargoniums. Work to support the pollinators and help our environment when designing your container gardens this season!