Favorite pollinators in the high dessert include the honey bee, hummingbird and butterfly.

Simple water source for pollinators.

Examples of two beneficial insects, the ladybug and praying mantis

Blue Flax                               



Planting for Pollinators

Honey bees and wild native bees pollinate approximately 75% of the fruits and vegetables grown in the US. In recent years, honeybee populations have declined in many parts of the world due to the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Research indicates that native bees can often fill in the 'pollinator gap'. You can help by providing habitat, water and food sources and moderating dependence on insecticides.


Try to include a wide range of flower shapes, sizes, structures and colors to benefit as many species as possible. Native plants are excellent since our wild bees are already adapted to them. Species that bloom in the spring or autumn are particulary valuable, as flora resources are often scarce at these times.


Even organically approved insecticides can be toxic to beneficial insects, so minimize their impact by practicing integrated pest management and not by spraying flowering plants when pollinators are active.


Fill up a shallow plant saucer with pebbles

and add water until they are partially submerged. The exposed parts of the pebbles provide a landing site for bees and other insects. To avoid mosquitoes, empty the container every few days and allow it to dry for several hours before refilling.

Plants for the High Desert

The high desert of New Mexico is a very unique growing challenge for gardeners who are not accustomed to this region. There are five distinct growing regions that vary dramatically from the western petroglyphs to the Rio Grande valley and Sandia Mountains.The soil ranges from sand, caliche (clay) to rich fertile soil in the river valley.Because the soil may not be naturally perfect it does mean that it will not be suitable for planting. Amending your soil with mulch, and organic fertilizers will enrich the soil to and prepare it for planting.

Three no-fail perennials that flourish in the high

desert are blue flax left, yarrow center, salvia, right.bottom.