Early Spring Bulbs for Pollinators

We love our pollinators and we know you do too!

As the snows disappear next year, we are not the only ones looking to see a hint of spring!  Our pollinators will be emerging and looking for food.

Pollinators, especially bees are hard at work looking to replenish the nectar and pollen stores.  Bees are able to detect flower nectar with high concentration of sugar and are attracted to flower colours such as:  white, yellow and blue.

By attracting pollinators to your garden first thing in the spring, you will help to establish a resident population which is needed throughout the growing season.

The best early spring flower bulbs for bees (available at the Dufferin Garden Centre):

Snowdrops (Galanthus):  White nodding flowers tipped with green will naturalize by bulb division over time.  These tough bulbs can even push their way through frozen soil as they have hardened leaf tips. If planted in a sunny place, the flowers tend to produce more nectar and pollen than if planted in the shade. 

Crocus: These bright, beautiful flowers are bee magnets on warm spring days! They offer protein-rich pollen during sunny days.  They are fun to naturalize along the edges of a lawn or driveway.

Winter Aconite (Eranthis):  One of the earlies flowers in spring.  Bright, waxy yellow blooms set of by green leaves. The plants like a humus-rich alkaline soil that does not dry out in summer.  It is best planted under deciduous trees where they will naturalize.

Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa):  Wonderful sun-loving plant has a stunning star-shaped blue flower with deep green strappy leaves.  Each bulb bears 5-10 blooms on stems growing about 8” tall and will naturalize over time.

Muscari:  Also known as grape hyacinths are simple-to-grow, durable bulbs that are fast to spread.  They thrive in full sun or deciduous shade and are ideal companions for taller bulbs or flowering shrubs.

Dwarf Iris:  Beautiful dwarf iris with grass-like leaves that burst into bloom in early spring.  Since each flower lasts between 3-7 days, the gradual succession of buds means that they will flower for around three weeks.