Why Pollinators are Important for Your Garden


As you sit down for dinner tonight to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, remember to thank the important pollinators that made it all possible. Without pollinators, there would be a substantial decline in the availability and diversity of fresh produce, and both humans and animals would suffer. Read on to find out why pollinators are so important to our gardens and how we can help create safe and welcoming sanctuaries for them to rest and refuel between travels.

What is pollination?

Pollination occurs when pollen grain moves from the male part of a flower to the female part of a different flower of the same plant species. The fertilized flower can then produce fruit and seeds. This process is essential to the reproduction of most flowering plants, and therefore essential to a healthy ecosystem.

There are three ways fertilization can occur:

  1. Self-pollination
  2. Wind and water pollination
  3. Cross-pollination through pollinators

Pollinators have evolved with native plants, which are adapted to the seasons, climate, and soils of that area, but can still pollinate in some non-native plants. 

The importance of pollinators

Pollinators are vital to the production of healthy crops for food, fibers, edible oils, medicines, and more. About 35% of the world’s food crops exist because of the work of pollinators.

Pollinators are essential components of the habitats that wild animals rely on for food and shelter. Without them, we would face food shortages and fewer plants, resulting in less carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, which provides the carbon that is the building block of all life.

Pollinator gardens offer a safe place to rest and refuel for pollinators like bees, birds, butterflies, and more. By supplying food in the form of pollen and nectar, plants ensure that these important pollinators stay in the area and continue to do their important work. 

Common pollinators

Bats are important pollinators in tropical and desert climates. They feed on insects in the flower, including agricultural pests, as well as on the nectar and flower parts. Bats are attracted at night to large pale or white flowers that are fragrant and full of nectar. 

Birds are particularly important pollinators of wildflowers. Hummingbirds, specifically, are key to wildflower pollination here in the United States.

Butterflies choose brightly colored, clustered, plant varieties which have flat surfaces that serve as landing pads. 

Bees spend most of their lives collecting pollen and feeding it to their developing offspring. The hairs all over bees’ bodies use electrostatic forces to attract pollen grains.

Tips for creating a pollinator-friendly garden

  • Don’t use pesticides that might harm or drive away birds, bees, and butterflies unless necessary. If you must use them, spray at night when bees and other pollinators aren’t active.
  • Use a wide variety of plants with overlapping bloom periods to keep pollinators around and active year-round. Include native plants to support pollinators that are adapted to your region, and don’t leave out the night blooming plants which will support moths and bats. 
  • Plant milkweed. The milky juice of the plant makes caterpillars and adult monarch butterflies distasteful to predators.
  • Include larval host plants in your landscape which support the caterpillars that will soon become pollinating butterflies.
  • Make artificial nectar using four parts water and one part table sugar, for a hummingbird feeder.
  • Choose pollinator-friendly plants and avoid planting modern hybrid flowers, as the pollen, nectar, and fragrance have been left out of these to create the “perfect” blooms.
  • Dead trees and limbs provide essential nesting sites for native bees.


Q: What would happen without pollinators?

A: Natural systems and food webs would be severely impacted, affecting the 
availability and diversity of food crops. 

Q: Do all plants need to be pollinated?

A: Yes, all plants need to be pollinated in order to produce fruit and seeds.

Q: What are the best pollinators?

A: Wild honey bees, bumblebees, butterflies, moths, wasps, and other insects.

Pollinator-friendly gardens help pollinators by providing nesting sites and bites of food. And we as humans benefit from the survival of these important pollinators.

If in need of assistance in creating a pollinator garden, reach out to one of Lawn Love’s lawn care professionals.

Main photo credit: Pxhere

Madeline Hoppe

Born and raised in Tampa, FL, Madeline Hoppe is a customer service expert with a deep respect for the written word. In her down time, she enjoys low-key nights watching movies with her family or heading to one of Tampa Bay's local beaches on a summery day.