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A Few of Our Favorite Pollinator Plants in the Winter

These plants are signs of a healthy pollinator garden and they lend sought-after winter interest. Some of our favorite winter pollinator plants are:

1)    Echinacea: The stems are quite sturdy, allowing the plant to stay erect through much, if not all, of the winter. The seed heads are vital to birds and have an interesting look when partially devoid of seeds.

2)    Little Blue Stem: Its fall colors may have faded, but this upright grass looks great with a light frost. Chances are, within its dense foliage are animals and insects sheltering from winter winds.

3)    Upright Verbena: I don’t think there’s a season we are not smitten with this plant. In the spring, to see all the volunteers emerging is a happy sight: spring is here! Come summer, its long, slender stems punctuated with purple blooms are attractive and look stunning swaying in the breeze. In the winter, it still stands well, offering interesting form to the winter garden, as well as a seed source. 

4)    Karl Foerster Grass: I fear this grass may be taken for granted. It’s often used in a sparse line or standing alone in the center of a parking lot. When it shines is when it’s part of a densely planted garden or when there are multiples of the grass, standing in a field backdropped by a conifers or used as a backdrop for a flowering prairie garden. And, of course, it looks nice in the pollinator garden come winter.

5)    Solidago ‘Fireworks’: A band of this plant, even when its far past blooming, looks great in the garden.  When planted in sweeping drifts or a ribbon, it adds movement to the garden- year-round.

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