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Steps to Help the Bees and Other Wild Pollinators - Tomorrow's Dream
Steps to Help the Bees and Other Wild Pollinators

Steps to Help the Bees and Other Wild Pollinators

Did you know that Toronto is home to over 360 species of bees? If you want to know more about helping them and their other pollinator friends, you can learn more about how to naturally support them in sustainable ways here.

Upcoming Events

  • The Star of Pollination, Soil Health, and More – All You Need to Know About Beetles – Jan, 2024
  • How to Design Your Every Own Pollinator Garden – March, 2024
  • Let Native Plants Dominate Your Lawn Instead – March, 2024
  • Get to Know the Bumble Bee Queen – March, 2024
  • Events for Seedy Saturdays -All year round

The Importance of Pollinators

Pollinators, particularly bees, play a vital role in the ecosystem by facilitating pollination, a process that enables plants to produce seeds, fruits, and new plants. This function is crucial for sustaining food production and shaping our natural landscapes. Beyond their impact on plant life, pollinators, such as butterfly larvae (caterpillars), serve as essential food sources for birds, contributing to the broader support of wildlife.

The presence of pollinators enriches the biodiversity of our urban environment, adding to the intrinsic value of these species with their unique natural histories.

Furthermore, supporting pollinators is a form of climate action. These creatures foster the development of healthy and resilient ecosystems that, in turn, purify the air, sequester carbon, mitigating the effects of climate change, stabilize soils, and absorb stormwater.

What is Pollination?

The process of pollination involves the transfer of pollen from the anther (the male part) of a flower to the stigma (the female part), facilitating plant reproduction. The majority of flowering plants rely on external assistance for pollination, depending on pollinators such as bees to transport pollen on their behalf.

Examples of Pollinators

  • Bees
  • Beetles
  • Birds
  • Butterflies
  • Flies
  • Moths
  • Wasps

Bees stand out as highly effective pollinators, as they visit flowers to either consume nectar or gather pollen. The hairs on their bodies play a key role in transporting pollen grains as they traverse from one flower to another. Toronto boasts a diverse array of pollinators, encompassing 364 bee species and 112 butterfly species.

What Harms Pollinators?

  • Habitat loss
  • Invasive species
  • Diseases
  • Pesticides
  • Climate change

Research indicates a significant decline in certain species, including the endangered Monarch butterfly and various bumblebee species such as the Rusty-patched bumblebee.

The Effects of Climate Change to Pollinators

Pollinators face susceptibility to adverse effects from climate change.

  • Extreme weather events, like heat waves and storms, pose a threat to bee populations.
  • Temperature fluctuations and warming conditions can disrupt the timely activity of certain bee species.
  • The warming climate induces ecological mismatches, affecting the synchronization of bee and flower availability, leading to reduced food for bees and a decline in pollinators for flowers.
  • Elevated levels of CO2 contribute to less nutritious pollen.
  • With climate change, invasive plants can expand into new areas, displacing native plants and diminishing plant diversity, ultimately reducing the available food for bees.
  • Combat Climate Change with Biodiversity
  • Biodiversity plays a crucial role in enhancing ecosystem adaptability to climate change. Ecosystems that are both healthy and diverse exhibit greater resilience in the face of climate challenges. The assurance of future well-being for species and ecosystems is derived from abundant, well-connected, and functional habitats. These principles are emphasized in the Toronto Biodiversity Strategy of the City.

Create More Pollinator Habitats for a Natural Solution for Climate Change

  • Sequester carbon (a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change) in the soil and extensive root systems of native plants.
  • Absorb heat, contributing to the cooling of urban areas.
  • Eliminate the need for mowing, saving time and reducing emissions.
  • Require less water than traditional lawns and demonstrate greater resilience in times of drought.
  • Reduce flood risk by superior absorption of stormwater compared to lawns.
  • Support diverse populations of pollinators that thrive under changing conditions.
  • Create pathways connecting to larger natural areas, facilitating the movement of pollinators across different areas to access essential resources for survival.

Facts to Know About Backyard Bee Keeping

Were you aware? The Rusty-patched bumblebee, once abundantly found among native bees in southern Ontario just five decades ago, has not been observed in the wild in Ontario since 2009.

You’ve likely come across discussions on the pollinator crisis, Colony Collapse Disorder, and the plight of bees, and you’re eager to contribute to their well-being. The trend of backyard beekeeping is gaining popularity, but is it the right solution? Similar to how keeping backyard hens doesn’t contribute to the preservation of wild birds, maintaining honey bee colonies doesn’t aid in the conservation of wild bees.

Native Bees and Honey Bees – What’s the Difference?

Native Bees
  • Native bees, being the most specialized and efficient pollinators, play a vital role in the production of seeds, fruits, and new plants through pollination.
  • Certain species of native bees are experiencing a significant and concerning decline.
  • The disappearance of native bees is permanent.
  • Toronto is home to more than 360 native bee species, while Ontario hosts over 600, and Canada supports over 800.
  • Once lost, native bees cannot be replaced.
  • Wild by nature.
  • Some species are currently endangered.
  • Primarily solitary in their nesting habits.
  • Nest either in the ground or in cavities.
  • During winter, they are dormant and do not produce honey.
  • Display a wide range of colors, including green, blue, red, and purple.
  • Most species are non-aggressive and do not sting.
  • Share evolutionary, dependent relationships with native plants.
Honey Bees
  • Honey bees, originating from Europe as a non-native species, are utilized in agriculture for crop pollination and are managed by beekeepers as livestock to produce honey.
  • Despite experiencing significant mortality rates, honey bees are not classified as an endangered species.
  • In the event of a honey bee colony demise, replacement bees can be acquired, and new colonies can be initiated.
  • The common farming practice in Canada focuses on a single monoculture species, Apis mellifera.
  • Following a colony loss, replacement bees can be obtained to establish a new one.
  • Human-managed.
  • Not currently categorized as endangered.
  • Social insects that live in colonies.
  • Reside in hives.
  • Produce honey for overwintering purposes.
  • Display characteristic black and yellow coloration.
  • Possess a stinging ability.
  • Lack evolutionary, dependent relationships with native plants.

Things to Consider When Managing Bees

  • Keeping European honey bees in your backyard offers no support to native bees and may, in fact, pose a threat to them.
  • Research indicates that honey bees could contribute to the decline of certain native bee species by outcompeting them for nectar and pollen, spreading diseases and parasites, and adversely affecting the reproductive health of native bees.
  • Backyard beekeeping is a highly specialized hobby demanding time, skill, careful attention, and mentorship. Improper practices can lead to negative—even dire—consequences for Ontario’s beekeeping industry, small-scale hobbyists, and native wild bees.
  • The Ontario Bees Act mandates all beekeepers to register their hives with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Additionally, it requires hives to be positioned at least 30 meters away from a property line, thereby prohibiting most Toronto homeowners from keeping honey bees in their backyards.

How to Create Your Very Own Pollinator-Friendly Garden

The most straightforward and impactful method to support native pollinators is by cultivating native plants. Planting these species ensures the provision of essential habitats that native bees rely on for their survival. Native plants offer both pollen and nectar, serving as vital food sources for adult bees and their larvae. Additionally, they provide suitable locations for nesting and overwintering.

You can establish pollinator-friendly habitats in various settings, including your yard, balcony, condo or apartment building, office, school, faith center, community garden, and virtually everywhere!

A starter pollinator garden would have:

  • Sources of food like nectar and pollen from wild flowers
  • Overwintering sites for nesting like hollow stems, leaves, and bare soil
  • Plants as Larval host like milkweed

These are great beginner must-haves in your garden to make it much more natural and pollinator-friendly. An optimal environment for pollinators includes locally grown, pesticide-free native plants. Pollinator-friendly habitats can be established in a variety of locations, such as parks, yards, apartment buildings, schools, faith centers, community gardens, and beyond.

Tips for Planting

  • Plant native: Opt for native plants, trees, and shrubs that are abundant in pollen and nectar, with a preference for those locally grown and free from pesticides.
  • Plant single bloom varieties: Facilitate easier access to pollen and nectar by opting for plant varieties with single blooms; the petals of double or triple bloom varieties may obstruct access.
  • Provide continuous bloom: Ensure a consistent supply of pollen and nectar by selecting a variety of plants that bloom from spring through fall.
  • Plant host plants: Recognize that butterflies lay their eggs on certain plants; for instance, Monarch butterflies exclusively choose milkweed as the sole food source for their larvae.
  • Mass plantings: Increase accessibility for pollinators by planting multiples of the same species together in large groupings.
  • Prevent the spread of invasive plants: Regularly monitor your property for invasive plants and promptly remove them when detected. The invasive dog-strangling vine negatively impacts Monarchs, as female butterflies mistakenly lay eggs on it, thinking it’s in the milkweed family, instead of native milkweeds, leading to larval starvation.

Other Garden Elements to Include

  • Water Sources: Offer a birdbath or a shallow dish of water with half-submerged rocks to assist bees and butterflies in quenching their thirst.
  • Sun Beds: Place a few flat rocks in sunny and sheltered locations to create spots where butterflies can bask in the sun.

Garden Maintenance and Tips

  • Limit mulch: Allow some bare patches of soil, and restrict the use of mulch, as many native bees build nests in the soil.
  • Leave dead stems: Retain dead stems, particularly hollow ones, as some bees hibernate and lay eggs in them. If you need to trim, leave the bottom 8 inches in place and bundle the cut stems within your garden. Be cautious when disposing of bundles in yard waste collections, as they may contain overwintering bees. In spring, delay garden cleanup until temperatures consistently exceed 10°C.
  • Keep your dead wood: Preserve large branches and decaying logs in sunny spots to provide crucial overwintering habitat for bees and other wildlife.
  • Leave the leaves: Let leaves remain where they fall or rake them into your garden to offer overwintering habitat for butterflies.
  • Avoid tilling: Refrain from tilling large patches of land, maintaining them unmown and untilled to provide secure and undisturbed nesting sites for ground-nesting bees.
  • Minimize manicuring: Recognize that a perfectly manicured lawn lacks diversity for pollinators. Opt for natural gardens and lawns, which provide more benefits for pollinators in terms of food and nesting spots.
  • Reduce mowing: Mow your lawn less frequently and set the blade at the highest level possible to avoid disturbing ground-nesting bees.
  • Prune and deadhead: Remove dead flower heads to stimulate new growth and extend the flowering season.
  • Avoid pesticides: Steer clear of plants/seeds treated with systemic insecticides like neonicotinoids. Refrain from spraying pesticides, as Toronto’s Pesticide Bylaw prohibits the cosmetic use of pesticides.
  • Keep it natural: Resist converting lawns or gardens into concrete, gravel, mulch, or artificial turf, as these materials reduce valuable food and nesting sites.

Keeping Dead Leaves?

Did you know that fallen leaves, branches, and dead stems play a crucial role in providing essential habitat for overwintering pollinating insects?

Unlike many native butterflies and moths that don’t migrate in the fall, they utilize the cover of leaves to overwinter until spring. Bumblebees also rely on leaves and dead stems for protection during the winter months, with some pollinators even adopting the appearance of dead leaves as camouflage.

To enhance biodiversity, it’s optimal in the fall season to LEAVE the LEAVES (and stems!). This involves allowing fallen leaves, dead pithy stems, and small branches to remain in your yard throughout the winter, offering vital habitat for pollinators to survive.

There are additional benefits to letting your yard stand as well! Fallen leaves provide protection and nutrients to your garden soil, insulate perennial plants from harsh winter weather, and can serve as mulch in your garden beds.

You also have flexibility in how you leave the leaves, allowing you to cater to your yard care preferences.

What you can do is:

  • Let all leaves, stems, and natural material remain where they have fallen in your yard over the winter (best solution).
  • Clear leaves from high-traffic areas like pathways and patios, allowing them to stay elsewhere (great solution).
  • Rake leaves into unshredded piles and position them around trees and in garden beds for the winter (good solution).
  • Leaving the leaves aligns with the primary goal of the Pollinator Protection Strategy, emphasizing the creation, enhancement, and protection of pollinator habitat in both natural and urbanized areas.

This year, contribute to preventing bees and butterflies from being discarded in a yard waste bag by choosing to leave the leaves!

Why You Should Delay Your Spring Clean-Up

Pollinator protection efforts manifest in various ways in our yards, including planting native species, expanding garden space to reduce grass coverage, and intentionally creating areas for pollinators to feed, drink, and rest. With a bit of research and effort, establishing urban pollinator habitat can significantly contribute to promoting species richness and diversity.

Surprisingly, some of the most effective actions for pollinator protection involve doing… well, nothing.

You might have encountered “leave the leaves” campaigns during the fall, advocating for forgoing autumn garden clean-up. Why? Allowing your garden to remain undisturbed over the winter is crucial for providing essential habitat for pollinating insects during the colder months. Native pollinator species in Toronto depend on plant litter for nesting and surviving the cold.

As spring approaches, the anticipation to ready our gardens for the upcoming growing season builds. However, when those initial warm days arrive before May, resist the urge to reach for your rake and shears.

Initiating garden clean-up too early can harm nesting pollinators. While it might be challenging to wait, it is advisable to refrain from any garden clean-up for as long as possible in the spring. The earliest suitable time to commence tidying is once the weather has consistently stayed above 10 degrees Celsius for at least a week.

In early spring, insects remain in diapause, a resting state similar to hibernation. These insects won’t be moving and should be left undisturbed until it is warm enough for them to emerge naturally.

The following tips ensure a spring garden clean-up that preserves pollinator habitat while allowing you to prepare for the approaching growing season.

What to Do Instead

Leave the Leaves Alone

Hopefully, your garden beds are adorned with a layer of fall leaves. If there is less than an inch of leaf cover, it’s advisable to take no action. Over time, these leaves will naturally decompose, enriching and shielding the garden soil while promoting the health of microorganisms. It’s essential not to underestimate how much new foliage will accumulate; by summer, the leaves will become scarcely visible.

In the case of a thicker layer of leaf cover on your beds, consider gently removing the excess before new growth starts to emerge. When disturbing the leaf cover, be vigilant for insects, as some, like Luna moths, overwinter in cocoons that mimic dead leaves. The extra leaves can be incorporated into compost, used as mulch, or strategically placed between plants. This method not only suppresses weed growth but also ensures open access to the bare soil for ground nesters.

Don’t Disturb Your Mulch

Certain pollinator species choose to overwinter directly in the soil. Applying mulch over the soil can be akin to sealing concrete over their homes, potentially suffocating these insects and impeding their emergence in spring. In general, the use of mulch in a garden is not imperative and should be practiced judiciously. If you decide to mulch, it is advisable to wait until the weather has changed, and the soil has had an opportunity to dry out. When mulching, target specific areas around the base of plants, ensuring ample bare patches are left for ground-nesting bees.

Cut Down, Bundle Up, and Tie Your Stems

Adults and pupae of certain pollinator species make their nests in dead, hollow plant stems. Once the temperature consistently rises above 10 degrees, you can initiate the process of trimming these stems. We recommend cutting them higher up. Leaving approximately 30cm of stem ensures the availability of overwintering sites for future pollinator generations, while still maintaining a neat and tidy garden appearance. Loosely bundle the cuttings together in groups of about a handful and position them in your garden space by either hanging the bundles or leaning them against a sturdy surface. This way, pollinators like bees and beneficial native wasps can emerge at the opportune time and temperature.

Do Some Pragmatic Pruning

When pruning shrubs and woody perennials, proceed with careful attention and patience. Numerous moth and butterfly species spend the winter hanging from branches in cocoons, and flowering shrubs play a crucial role as the initial food source for these species. If you come across a chrysalis or cocoon, it’s best to refrain from disturbing it. Trimming can always be done at a later time.

No Mowing This May

Are you familiar with No Mow May? Originating in Europe, No Mow May encourages allowing your lawn to grow throughout the month to facilitate the flourishing of perennial plants and flowers, offering essential food and habitat for pollinators.

While the popularity and reach of No Mow May expand, it’s crucial to recognize that reducing spring mowing alone doesn’t fully address the environmental stressors threatening Toronto’s pollinators. No Mow May overlooks some vital components in supporting both pollinators and ecosystems. The most effective approach to bolster declining pollinator populations involves planting native plants, shrubs, and trees and thoughtfully managing yard “waste.”

Often, spontaneous plant species in turf grass are non-native or invasive, offering minimal support to wild pollinators. Native plants in Toronto, having co-evolved with local wild pollinators, provide the highest-quality sources of food and shelter for wild bees, butterflies, and moths—unlike turf grass and dandelions.

While May is a critical time for pollinators seeking food, it’s equally important in the earlier spring when some emerge from winter hibernation, and throughout the summer and fall when many are reproducing and preparing for hibernation. To ensure the survival of wild pollinators, it’s necessary to provide a continuous source of food from spring to fall. This entails going beyond the initiatives like No Mow May and adopting landscaping practices that enhance biodiversity in the city.

Great Tips for No Mow May

  • Protect pollinators all year. When selecting plants for your yard, consider bloom times – early spring and later in the fall are crucial periods for pollinators to access blooming plants.
  • Prioritize native plants, trees, and shrubs. Native plants support the diverse wild pollinators of Toronto, which are in decline. Check out our list of native plants, trees, and shrubs.
  • Identify areas of your yard that do not need to be lawn space. A small section where grass is already sparse or around the perimeter of your yard could serve as an urban pollinator haven. If you usually only use the backyard turf grass for recreation, consider converting your front yard into a garden bed. The best advice is to start anywhere, even if that means starting small.
  • Indulge in low-maintenance gardening and lawn care. Native plants have evolved to thrive in Toronto’s climate without the need for excessive watering or fertilizers. You can plant low-growing native grasses and flowering plants like wild strawberry in your lawn for a low-maintenance way to diversify your yard. Set your mower to a longer length (around 4 inches) so these plants can thrive, and wait a little longer between mows.

Most wild bees in Toronto nest in small cavities in the ground and dead stems, rather than in hives. Plan to have some bare soil patches and leave dead, hollow stems for nesting habitat. With some extra time freed up, you can turn your attention to pulling out harmful invasive species like garlic mustard and dog strangling vine.

What are Considered Native Plants?

Native plants are those that naturally occur in a region, having evolved without human introduction. Toronto is situated at the convergence of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region and the Carolinian Zone.

These native plants have co-evolved with local pollinators, establishing symbiotic relationships where they depend on each other for survival. Plants originating from other regions or those cultivated by humans into unnatural forms (such as cultivars and nativars) do not provide the same level of support to pollinators as genuine native plants.

Native Plants Benefits

  • Adapts to local conditions
  • Beautifies the place
  • Conserves water
  • Does not need too much maintenance
  • Provides food and shelther for wildlife
  • Sequesters carbon

Native Plant Examples

Native plant species exhibit variations in their light requirements. Choose plants based on your specific site conditions:

Full sun – receiving at least 6 hours of direct late-morning/afternoon sun.

Partial shade – exposed to 3 to 6 hours of morning or afternoon sun but sheltered from the intense midday sun.

Full shade – receiving less than 3 hours of sun.

Here are some native plants you can start with:

  • False Solomon’s Seal
  • Golden Alexanders
  • Hairy Beardtongue
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Bee Balm
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • New England Aster
  • Stiff Goldenrod
  • Woodland Sunflower

Hollow or Pithy Stem Plants

There are other native plant types that are either hollow or have pithy stems. These kinds of plants are ideal for nesting and overwintering habitats.

Hollow Stems
  • Cup Plant
  • Echinacea
  • Swamp Milkweed
Pithy Stems
  • Elderberry
  • Raspberry
  • Rose

Native Shrubs and Trees

Shurbs and trees are perfect for pollinators too. Here are some examples of them:

Small to Medium Species
  • Bush Honeysuckle
  • Common Ninebark
  • Red Osier Dogwood
Large Species
  • Hackberry
  • Black Oak
  • Eastern White Cedar
Rain Garden Species
  • Pussy Willow
  • Grey Dogwood
  • Meadowsweet

What You Need to Know About Goldenrods

Discover a fantastic plant for supporting pollinators – meet goldenrod!

As a resilient native plant with numerous species adapted to diverse growing conditions, there’s a goldenrod suitable for every garden. By introducing goldenrod to your yard, balcony, or community garden, you’ll provide benefits to birds, butterflies, bees, and various other pollinators.

Setting the record straight: contrary to popular belief, goldenrod does not trigger hay fever. The real culprit, ragweed, blooms simultaneously and is responsible for hay fever discomfort. Goldenrod relies on insect pollination, featuring heavy, sticky pollen that doesn’t disperse through the wind. Therefore, incorporating goldenrod into your garden won’t cause any discomfort for hay fever sufferers.

Great Things About Goldenrods

  • Over 25 species of goldenrod are native to Ontario.
  • Goldenrod provides support for over 100 species of moths and butterflies during their larval stage.
  • More than 35 species of bees specialize in feeding on goldenrod pollen.
  • Goldenrod blooms from late summer into fall, serving as a crucial late-season food source for pollinators.

Goldenrods for Shady Areas

These species thrive naturally in forests and are well-suited for shady garden areas.

Zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)
  • Broad, dark green leaves with saw-toothed edges.
  • Upright growth form; stems exhibit a bent, zig-zag pattern.
  • Spreads via underground rhizomes, multiplying without aggressive behavior.
  • Delicately scented blooms are bright yellow, arranged in many small clusters where the leaves meet the stem.
  • Flourishes in large containers on a shady balcony.
Blue-stemmed goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
  • Tolerant of somewhat dry and sandy soils.
  • Long stems arch outward in a circle, featuring bright yellow flowers clustered close to the stem.
  • Narrow leaves with serrated edges; stems possess a waxy coating imparting a blue tint.
  • As it matures, it forms a sizable clump.

Goldenrods for Partial Shade

These versatile species, suitable for sun to part-sun conditions, thrive in the dappled environments beneath certain types of trees.

Gray goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis)
  • Exceptionally resilient, flourishing even in gravelly soil, making it an excellent choice for container planting.
  • Stems and leaves are adorned with dense, velvety white hairs.
  • Showcases pyramid-shaped flower clusters arranged at the ends of stems.
Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)
  • One of the two goldenrod species in Ontario featuring white flowers instead of the typical yellow hue (the other being Solidago ptarmicoides).
  • Exhibits an upright growth form, with large leaves at the base transitioning to smaller ones towards the middle.
  • Flowers cluster tightly around the central stem of the leaf-less top half of the plant.

Goldenrods Under Full Sun

These species exhibit remarkable drought tolerance and flourish in open, sunny areas.

Grass-leaved goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)
  • Long, slender leaves and a branched, “flat-topped” flower cluster, offering an airy and elegant appearance.
  • While it can become “top heavy,” planting alongside other tall meadow plants provides valuable support.
Early goldenrod (Solidago juncea)
  • Flower clusters resemble tasseled golden pyramids.
  • Long, thick, leathery green leaves cluster at the base, from which the tall stem emerges in summer.
  • Often the first goldenrod to bloom, typically in early August.
Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)
  • Impressive showpiece with broad leaves and stout stems covered in velvety, short white hairs.
  • Features clusters of dense and abundant yellow flowers.
  • Thrives in hot, dry conditions, achieving an impressive size.

Goldenrods for Sunny and Rainy or Wet Areas

Ohio goldenrod (Solidago ohioensis)
  • Flourishes in moist areas, such as near a downspout or low-lying regions. Features a flat-topped, open, and airy flower cluster with upright and stout stems.
Tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima), Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), and Giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)
  • These three species share a strikingly similar appearance and are prone to self-sow in gardens through wind-blown seeds. All exhibit three prominent veins on lower leaves and showcase tassel/pyramid-shaped flower clusters. While they can be vigorous and even aggressive, spreading via underground rhizomes, their growth can be managed by pulling up stems or cultivating them in containers.

Facts About Goldenrods

  • Some species of goldenrod are rare in the wild. (Don’t dig up any plants from natural areas!)
  • Native goldenrods are exceptionally valuable for pollinators, providing nectar and pollen from late summer through fall. Goldenrod serves as crucial fuel for migrating butterflies like monarchs and for queen bumblebees preparing for winter.
  • Goldenrods foster a broad array of beneficial insects, and certain relationships between goldenrod and insects have evolved to be specialized and dependent.
  • Many species of goldenrod grow tall. To maintain a shorter height, try this trick: in late June or early July, cut the stems back by half. It will continue to grow, becoming bushier, and still flower in late summer, presenting a more compact form.
  • It is a myth that Goldenrod is too aggressive for the garden. In fact, three species of goldenrod—Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), Tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima), and Giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)—are highly successful spreaders in small gardens. In large gardens or challenging spots where little else will grow, this is a very useful feature!

Grow Goldenrods in a Pot

These are some of the Goldenrod species that can grow in a pot:

  • Canada goldenrod
  • Early goldenrod
  • Giant goldenrod
  • Gray goldenrod
  • Grass-leaved goldenrod
  • Silverrod
  • Tall goldenrod
  • Zigzag goldenrod
James Knox