North Coast Gardening | Pollinating plant produces small flowers – Times-Standard

Bidens is a fun summer plant (perennial on the coast) that pollinators love. Bees, bee flies, fly flies and all those nameless buzzing little creatures that are responsible for keeping our gardens productive and healthy are swarming towards Bidens. Easily found at local nurseries, this relative of the aster family is a low-maintenance plant. It flowers from May to October.

Although this delicious pollinator plant produces many small flowers, no larger than a quarter, it is quite easy to care for. No one-on-one, believe it or not. Plants produce new flowers and foliage quickly, so faded blooms are often lost to new growth. Bidens need very little care except a good deep watering every so often to keep it fresh.

Bidens is perfect as a low border plant or a short-term ground cover. Plants average 3 feet wide and less than 12 inches tall. Planting in full sun will produce the most blooms and encourage a nice mass of tight foliage. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant, but look best with occasional deep watering.

Local nurseries offer several types of Bidens. At first they may look a little scruffy in their pots, but once in the ground they really take off. Bidens Beedance ‘Painted Red’ is a two-tone orange and fiery yellow flower. ‘Tweety’ produces bright yellow flowers. B. Ferulifolia ‘Pretty in Pink’, pinkish/lavender flowers.

Terry Kramer is the site manager of the Humboldt Botanical Garden and a trained horticulturist and journalist. She has written a garden column for the Times-Standard since 1982. Contact her at terrykramer90@gmail.com.

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