Backyard Ecology Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
Exploring Nature in Your Backyard

Let Herbs Go to Flower

Herbs taste better before they go to flower, which is why people are often encouraged to pinch off any flower buds that begin to form. However, at some point in mid to late summer, most people have gathered all the herbs they want and may decide to discard the plants. When you get to that point, instead of getting rid of the plants, I suggest letting some or all of them flower. Many different species of pollinators are often attracted to herb flowers and the flowers can be a valuable late-season nectar source if you keep the herbs from flowering until late summer or early fall.

Thyme and other culinary herbs will often attract bees and butterflies if allowed to flower. Planting herbs in containers can be a great way for people with limited space to attract pollinators while also feeding their family. Photo credit: Greenmars, cc-by-sa 3.0

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