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Butterfly/Pollinator Gardening Made Easy


A newbie butterfly gardener in Greenbelt recently asked the local email group for their plant suggestions for her new garden, and local gardeners had some to offer.  But my top tip would be for her to consult with Karen Coppens here.  She’s my go-to personal shopper for the plants that perform best at providing for pollinators, including butterflies.   I consulted Karen when I ripped out my roses to make room for the plants that would attract the most hummers, butterflies and friendly pollinating bees, and reported her pollinator-plant tips here.  IMG_4503

The advantage of getting plant suggestions while you’re at the plant store is huge – seeing what they look like and being able to choose the ones you love.   After all, these plants aren’t JUST for the benefit of the critters; they make the gardener happier, too.

Karen is here in the Perennials Department of the Beltsville store every day but Tuesday or Wednesday, and on those days just ask Becky, who I’m told is equally knowledgeable.

I’ve noticed that these days more of the department is devoted to plants that support our beloved critters – you can tell from the blue “Pollinator Paradise” sign on the left in the photo.  And the best plants for pollinators are displayed in one place – the first four benches as you enter the department, where Karen is standing.

And to see native plants on display, just look for the friendly caterpillar, shown right.

Posted by Susan Harris.



Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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