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Bees and many butterfly populations are declining around the world, thanks to the use pesticides and habitat loss.

So, how can you plant a garden to attract birds, bees, and butterflies so our plants can stay pollinated? Gardening expert Antonio Valente has some suggestions to make your very own pollinator-friendly patch of plants.

Buddleia

Also known as Butterfly Bush, this plant is a magnet for butterflies (shocking!) in the latter half of the summer.

  • NEED-TO-KNOW: It requires full sun and a big yard (though new varieties have been bred for smaller yards)
  • CARE: Remove deadhead (spent flowers) to encourage continuous blooming and to keep the plant tidy. It blooms on new wood, so prune back hard in late fall or very early spring to encourage new growth.

Enchinacea

This flower is low-maintenance and an easy-to-care-for perennial. It used to be only available in purple, but hybridizers have gone to town and it’s now available in red, orange, white and red.

  • NEED-TO-KNOW: Drought tolerant

Scabiosa

This is another low-maintenance perennial.

  • NEED-TO-KNOW: Requires full sun and makes a good cut flower.
  • CARE: Remove deadhead (spent flowers) to encourage continuous blooming.

Asclepias

This low maintenance perennial (also known as butterfly weed) is part of the milkweed family, which are super important to the monarch butterfly. It’s available in a rang of colours (i.e. orange, red, yellow, pink, and white).

  • NEED-TO-KNOW: Once established, it is drought tolerant. Plant it in full sun.

Monarda

This is an old-fashioned and low maintenance perennial that is great for hummingbirds. You’ll find this plant in a variety of colours: red, pink, purple, and white.

  • NEED-T0-KNOW: Drought tolerant but plant in full sun.