Insects and the importance of Sedum
Insects love Sedum, all varieties. The main species of insects that survive so well on Sedum are the Bees and Butterflies. This in turn attracts the birds and other wildlife, which only goes to prove how important a Sedum roof or wall can be, especially in an urban environment which is devoid of many succulent and colourful plants. Sedum is highly attractive to butterflies especially, thousands can be found crowding over the sedum plants making a wonderful additional attraction to your new Sedum Green Roof anytime of the year. The sedum plant itself has been given the prestigious Award of Garden Merit from the RHS.
Other insects also found are the ladybird, a brilliant aphid predator. They do no harm to the Sedum and should be left as they can provide a great meal for others such as the bird population. Likewise Ambush bugs which are stoutly built and are usually orange, red or yellow in colour can often also be found on the Sedum plants. They are called ambush bugs after their habit of lying in wait for prey. They can often capture prey ten or more times their own size. Similarily to the ladybird they do no harm to the sedum but actually get rid of unwanted pests in some cases.
Butterflies, Bees and Ladybirds on the Sedum.
When we first planted out our Sedum Mats on the Lower Leigh Farm we couldn’t believe the amount of butterflies that appeared. The succulents stems attracted a variety of butterflies and its quite a site to see in the summer months. This has a knock on affect as it also then attracts birds and other wildlife. Butterflies and moths live in many different habitats throughout the world in every continent except Antarctic. The sedum plant on your Green Roof provides a mass of succulent plant and colour that become a magnet to both butterflies and bees seeking nectar.
The Sedum is important for its bee-attracting abilities and the information below explains this is something very important and needed for our future on this planet. Bumblebees, Carpenter bees, Honeybees to name but a few are always found amongst the sedum mats.
This lovely insect is now suffering worldwide. According to the International Bee research Association most countries have lost approximately 30% of their bees this last winter. Climate change, a decline in wild flowers and disease is thought to be the most common causes. The change to intensive farming has caused the demise of many wild flowers and habitats for the bee. In recent years there has been enormous publicity concerning the fall of the bee population, little has been done to encourage new habitats.
By planting a Sedum Green Roof this could help enormously. If all the buildings in London had just a small area of Green Roof this could make a substantial difference to the population. The most important species of bee that is vital for the pollination is the honey bee. This bee pollinates a wide range of plants including those vital for our dietary consumption. For example, fruit trees, tomatoes and in other parts of the world coffee and grapes to name but a few.
We can help by providing environments suitable for the development of nectar and pollen. This is where a Sedum Green Roof can be so beneficial. Bees can be found foraging from early spring until the onset of autumn and winter. The Scout bees fly over large areas searching for pollen and areas rich in nectar. When they have found a suitable area they return to the hive and waggling their abdomens, thus communication to the others where their find is, this is known as the bee dance. The time of year when stocks are low for the bee is usually the end of the summer and onset of the winter. If you have a Sedum Roof this is a huge help for this suffering population. Sedum is rich with everything needed for the bee during this crucial stage of the year.
We can help the population of bees and butterflies by supporting scientists and campaigners by planting plants such as Sedum or wild flowers as walls and roofs. This will replay us not only with the delight of the wildlife population they bring with it but the satisfaction we are doing something for the planet.
Why don’t you contact us about a Green Roof. It could be anything from a huge roof to a garden shed or just an area in your garden. We can advise you on all aspects of Green Roofs. Sedum can come in rolled mats or blankets, plug plants or our new S-Pods/Green Sedum Trays which make installation on roofs very easy. Do something for our planet!