Optimized wildflower seed mixes for pollinator enhancement plantings
Seed Mixer provides evidence-based recommendations for selecting wildflower species to include in pollinator enhancement plantings, with a focus on agricultural pollination. Seed Mixer's recommendations currently apply to north-central CA only (see Details). However, anyone can use Seed Mixer to explore how combinations of wildflower species support bee diversity.
Consider goals for your pollinator enhancement planting
Bee diversity. Pollinator plantings need to include multiple plants to support bees with different flower preferences. Choosing plants that bloom at different times helps bees find food all year long. Crop pollination Some bee species are particularly valuable crop pollinators. Choosing plants that bloom before, during or after crop bloom may encourage pollinators to visit crop flower. Herbivores Plants differ in the number and kind of insect herbivores they support. Some herbivorous insects are harmless or valuable as food for beneficial predator insects. Others may be damaging crop pests. Cost A pollinator enhancement planting is an investment. Wildflower species vary in their cost to establish and maintain, so cheaper species should be used whenever they provide sufficient benefit.
Decisions about which plant species to include should ultimately be made in consultation with local extension and other resources.