Non-native plants can be very attractive to local pollinators. The Cosmos pictured here is a great example of a non-native plant species which attracts native bees in Ontario. Photo credit: M. Boucher, OMAFRA For many, a home garden is a place of comfort and beauty. But for the past several years there’s been rising demand for gardens that serve a purpose. A great example of this is the COVID-spurred resurgence of Victory Gardens, which not only produce vegetables and herbs, but also boost morale. Gardening with purpose can also mean contributing to the world around us. Planting ornamentals that provide nectar or pollen to pollinators in urban environments is a popular way to support the local ecosystem. Unfortunately, attempting to find the “right” or “best” plants to support pollinators can lead growers (and homeowners) down an internet rabbit hole. Many websites try to simplify things by promoting the exclusive use of local native plants – but does that mean Ontario growers have to switch up what they grow to capitalize on this trend? With the help of researchers at the University of Guelph, summer students at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) have spent several […]


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