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It is a Pollinator Plant But

Some of our favorite pollinator plants are not ideal plants for many gardens. Just because a plant is a pollinator plant or even a native plant, doesn’t mean it belongs in your garden. 

One plant I love, and hate a tad, is Mountain mint (above). It’s a pollinator magnet, attracting an amazing amount of and a diverse array of insects. But my gosh it’s vigorous. It’s already choking out some if the Echinacea and Prairie dropseed. This is not the plant for small spaces, especially those adjacent to the neighbors’ lawns and gardens.

I adore our Rattlesnake master (above). It has the coolest architecture form and is visited by many pollinators. It does, though, reseed. Now I like this. I have a large garden space and welcome all the volunteers. If there are too many seedlings in one space I can thin them out. Some gardeners don’t like volunteers, no matter how easy they are to cull.

Solidago is another native plant. There are numerous Solidago plants. Many I find to be too unruly and a bit too wild looking. Odd, because our gardens do get a bit wild looking come late summer. If I had an open prairie, the back 40 so to speak, I would embrace native Solidago with open arms. But for now I’ll rely on the slightly more refined and easier to design with ‘Fireworks’. (Above: Fall blooming Solidago ‘Fireworks’ in the landscape.)

A bit of plant selecting advice. Even when considering native and popular pollinator plants, do your research. Take the time to ensure the plant has the look and the behavior that is well suited for your garden.

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