People are getting more interested in planting for pollinators, especially monarch butterflies, but they don’t always know where to find the plants.
Garden centers increasingly are carrying more varieties of pollinator-friendly plants, including milkweeds. But there are other sources, including Prairie Pride Plants in Wichita, and FloraKansas: The Great Plains Plant Bazaar next weekend at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston.
“We’re fielding a lot of calls about milkweeds with regard to monarchs and saving the monarchs,” said Scott Vogt, director of the arboretum. Planting a diversity of plants that bloom at different times is what the birds, bees and butterflies need, he says, and people can find them at the FloraKansas sale.
“You have like coneflowers and penstemon for the springtime, and for the summer can be the milkweeds and liatris, some of the black-eyed Susans,” Vogt said. In the fall, goldenrod is added to the scene.
“There’s a lot of different milkweeds ... so that there’s food for the caterpillars throughout the growing season,” Vogt said. Among the nine varieties of milkweed that will be available at FloraKansas are a yellow butterfly milkweed called Hello Yellow and a white swamp milkweed called Ice Ballet.
Another use for pollinator-friendly flowers is among vegetable plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers, Vogt says. Choose ornamental flowers that bloom at the same time that the vegetables will be flowering so that pollinators are more easily attracted to the edibles that need to be pollinated, he said.
Information on plant tags will tell what benefits each plant provides, and Vogt, along with education coordinator Brad Guhr, will be on hand to provide plant-selection advice.
Ferns, grasses, trees, shrubs, vines and hostas also will be for sale at FloraKansas. You can download a plant list at dyckarboretum.org.
The sale will be open first for members only from 1 to 7 p.m. on Thursday. People can become members during the event that day. The sale is then open to the public from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 25, noon to 4 p.m. April 26, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 27. The arboretum is at 177 W. Hickory St. in Hesston. Admission is free.
On April 25, Prairiestock, a local music festival, will take place during FloraKansas. Thor Bonner, Barry Jones, Jammin’ Biscuits, Delores and the Pickin’-Fretter, Emily Strom Trio, Book of Jebb, Knocknasheega, The DeVeils and the Ne’erdowells will play, and there will be food vendors. Hours for Prairiestock will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The cost is a $5 wrist band for adults; children 16 and younger get in free. More information: 620-327-8127, dyckarboretum.org.
If You Go
FloraKansas native plant sale
When: 1-7 p.m. Thu. (members only), 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 25, noon-4 p.m. April 26, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. April 27
Where: Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, 177 W. Hickory St. in Hesston
How much: Free admission