Early spring is an important time for pollinators like native bees, butterflies, some moths, and even hummingbirds.

Insects wake up hungry (I mean, who wouldn’t be, after cocooning all winter!) But pollen and nectar can be hard to come by. Since bees — and pollinators in general – are in short supply, and they are critical to fertilize important Indiana crops like corn and soybeans, why not plant a few of these native spring flowers? Not only are they beautiful, but they help to attract and feed the bees we need right now.

The good news is that many of these flowers are native plants indigenous to Indiana. That means they are easy to find (some are readily available along the roadside) or in nurseries known to carry native plants. And because the prairies of Indiana are full of so many gorgeous pollinators, they are easy to grow and maintain.

Here are some early spring bloomers that can help attract and feed important Indiana pollinators:

  • Yellow trout lily – This lovely long-stemmed lily is native to the northeast and Midwest. Bees love ‘em!
  • Purple coneflower – Thick stemmed and hardy, birds love their seeds after they have finished blooming.
  • Black-eyed Susans (many varieties) – These grow wild in fields, are loved by bees and butterflies, and make colorful bouquets.
  • Butterfly plant (sometimes called Butterfly bush) – are gaining in popularity and can be found in many garden centers.
  • Virginia bluebells – Native to eastern and central states, these smaller plants will spread, so plant with that in mind.
  • Dutchman’s breeches – Commonly found in the Pacific northwest, northeast, and the Midwest, you’ll understand why this plant came by its common name as soon as you see the blooms.
  • Orange daylily — is famous for its vigorous, orange blooms along roadsides. It is carefree, adaptable, and tolerant of any soil.
  • Wild violets — can often be found along paths in the woods or right in your lawn. They love shade, so move them to where you can see and enjoy them

Want to do more? By providing food, water, cover, and places for wildlife to raise their young, you are eligible to have your yard recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. To find out more, click here: Certify today!

When you certify, you’ll be a part of 240,000+ gardeners across America who provide safe places for wildlife (like birds and bees) to thrive. Creating a wildlife habitat garden not only helps wildlife, it gives you and your neighbors a beautiful place to experience nature every day.