Let’s be honest, the oakleaf hydrangea in my landscape was planted solely because of the visual charm it provides throughout the season – a beautiful panicle flower late spring that opens white and transitions into a pink blush and a cool-shaped leaf that turns burgundy in the fall.  It fits the space well – perfect size, shape, texture, and color.

Since planting the oakleaf hydrangea, I’ve learned that its presence in my landscape is important for another reason – an attribute that I overlooked. In addition to being the right size, shape, texture, and color, it is also beneficial for pollinators. Selecting plants that are beneficial for pollinators is, unfortunately, not always a consideration. But it should be.

Lately it seems, pollinators are all the buzz.

The importance of pollinators is not at the forefront of our daily lives, but is becoming more visible. Pollinators such as butterflies, bees, flies, moths, beetles, and even hummingbirds are essential to food production. Without their help there would be no abundance of fruits and vegetables to buy at the grocery store – that is one reason, a big reason, we should be concerned with helping our winged friends by providing them with flowering plants rich in nectar and pollen.

Which plants are beneficial for pollinators?

The good news is that there are many – and not only will they benefit the pollinators but can also satisfy our search for that perfect plant – right size, shape, texture, and color!

Visit with us at White Oak to see and learn about some of our favorite pollinator friendly plants including:
beebalm, butterfly weed, purple coneflower, butterfly bush, paniculata hydrangeas such as ‘Limelight’, oakleaf hydrangeas such as ‘Ruby Slippers’ and clethra.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens provides a helpful list of the best plants for pollinators.



This week White Oak Gardens is dedicated to pollinators.

I invite you to stop in, see, learn about, and shop many of the beneficial plants for pollinators, which by the way also happen to be beautiful. As part of Pollinators Week at White Oak, we will be hosting a talk given by Scott Beuerlein of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens on Wednesday, June 19 at 6:30 PM. Scott will discuss plants that the Zoo, after many years of trialing, has found to be the best for pollinators. The event is free, but sign-up is encouraged.



The Challenge

1. Continue to improve your landscape with beautiful plants that are the right size, shape, texture, and color – but also strive to include plants that are beneficial for pollinators!

2. Take an inventory of your existing landscape plants – you may already have pollinator friendly plants without realizing it!

3. After planting your pollinator plants, or finding some existing in your landscape, take time to register your pollinators garden with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens.