Seed planting guide


Pitchfork

Plant seeds from our store to feed and shelter beneficial insects like wild bees and butterflies.

Contact us at communitygiving@davidsuzuki.org or 604-732-4228 ext. 1500.

Resources

Native plants and butterflies, western Canada: https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/attract-butterflies-with-native-plants-western-canada/

Lower Mainland and Victoria planting guide: https://davidsuzuki.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/native-plants-for-vancouver-butterfly-gardens-2.pdf

Native plants and butterflies, eastern Canada: https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/attract-butterflies-with-native-plants-eastern-canada/

Toronto planting guide: https://davidsuzuki.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/native-plants-for-Toronto-butterfly-gardens.pdf

About the plants

All seeds can be planted outdoors in fall (six to eight weeks before the first frost) or spring.

Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta

These dark-centred, yellow flowers are a great nectar and pollen source for wild bees. Blooms from summer to late fall. Butterflies, moths and beetles will also be regular visitors.

Plant three millimetres (1/8-inch) deep in well-drained soil, in full or partial sun. Cut back after the first flower for a second bloom.

Douglas aster Symphyotrichum subspicatum

Its light purple flowers bloom late in summer when many other wildflowers are shutting down. It’s drought-tolerant, deer-resistant and needs little care once established. Bees and butterflies love it.

Prefers full sun and well-drained soil, but thrives in wetlands and tolerates drought. Spreads by underground stems (rhizomes). Remove wilted flowers (“deadhead”) to encourage more blooms.

Evening primrose Oenothera biennis

Named because its flowers open at dusk and close by noon the next day, this drought-tolerant wildflower is a favourite of bees, butterflies and moths.

Plant three millimetres (1/8-inch) deep in well-drained, rocky or sandy soil. Does best in full or partial sun but will survive in partial shade and tolerates drought. Self seeds easily.

Farewell to spring Clarkia amoena

A.k.a. “godetia,” it’s a self-seeding annual that works well in containers and gardens. It’s a great nectar source for bees and butterflies.

Seeds need light to germinate, so don’t bury them — sow them on the surface of cool, moist or dry, well-drained soil. Prefers full sun to light shade. Drought-tolerant and requires little maintenance.

Lanceleaf coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolate

This drought-tolerant perennial is native to eastern North America. Bees and butterflies flock to its tall clusters of dark green foliage and bright yellow flowers.

Plant three millimetres (1/8-inch) deep in well-drained, nutrient-poor, sandy soil, in full sun or partial shade. Remove wilted flowers (“deadhead”) to encourage more blooms.

Western yarrow Achillea millefolium

It’s drought-resistant and provides pollinators with nutritious nectar throughout the summer. It attracts a variety of butterflies and wild bees.

Plant three millimetres (1/8-inch) deep in well-drained soil, in full sun. Prefers, hot, dry conditions. Its scent repels aphids and its leaves and stems contain enzymes that will help break down compost.

Woolly sunflower Eriophyllum lanatum

A.k.a. “Oregon sunshine,” it blooms from May through August, is deer-resistant and works well in containers. It attracts butterflies such as skippers and painted ladies.

Scatter seeds or mix with clean, dry sand (not salty beach sand!) before spreading thinly (not more than three times the seeds’ thickness) on soil, in full or partial sun. Tolerates a variety of soils.