Various plants can be used as nectar sources for these beneficial insects. Some plants are even able to attract different types of pollinators at different times. Knowing which plants to choose for your garden can mean distinguishing between a thriving ecosystem and one that lags.
A garden full of vibrant ecosystems is important for us and our animal friends — especially pollinators. The more attractive and diverse the flowers in our gardens, the more incentives there will be for the various species of bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other intrigued visitors looking for sustenance. Plants like coneflower, daisies, marigolds, and cosmos plants attract pollinators. Read on to learn more about the best plants for pollinators.
Table of Contents
Here are the 15 Best plants to Attract Pollinators in Your Garden
Marigolds are a beautiful and vibrant addition to any garden. These annual flowers come in various colors, from red to orange to yellow, making for an eye-catching display. Not only do marigolds look great, but they also have many practical benefits.
For example, they can act as companion plants for other vegetables and herbs in the garden, helping them to thrive. Additionally, marigolds are known to repel pests like cabbage moths and root-knot nematodes that can damage crops.
The size of marigold plants can vary depending on the variety you choose. Some varieties are quite small, such as Tangerine Gem, which is only 6 inches tall or less.
Others can grow up to 4 feet tall. No matter what size you choose, these cheerful flowers will bring life and beauty to your garden while providing useful pest control benefits at the same time.
Cosmos are beautiful annual flowers that come in many colors and sizes. These dainty daisy-like flowers have long, slender stems, making them perfect for cut flowers. You can choose a variety that ranges from 1 to 5 feet tall, depending on its size.
Taller varieties may need staking for support, but they are well worth it. The Seashell cosmos is especially stunning with its delicate petals and subtle colors. We also love the Sensation blend, which has vibrant colors that brighten up any garden or bouquet.
Cosmos are easy to care for and make great additions to any garden or landscape. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil and should be watered regularly during dry periods. Deadheading spent blooms will help encourage more blooms throughout the season.
With proper care, these lovely flowers will bloom from summer until frost. Cosmos will surely add beauty and color to your outdoor space all season.
Coneflowers, or Echinacea, are a beautiful addition to any garden. These tall flowers can reach up to two feet, attracting butterflies and other beneficial insects, such as bees. Coneflowers are best planted in perennial borders adjacent to vegetable gardens due to their size. A wide range of coneflower plants from Burpee come in various colors, including the ‘Paradiso Mix.’
These flowers are easy to care for and require minimal maintenance. They thrive in full sun and well-drained soil with moderate water requirements. Deadheading spent blooms will help promote new growth and keep your garden looking its best throughout the season.
With proper care, coneflowers can be enjoyed for many years to come. For more information on growing echinacea, visit Burpee’s website or speak with your local nursery expert.
The daisy is a flower that brings back fond childhood memories for many people. Whether making daisy chains in the schoolyard or simply admiring them in nature, this humble flower has been a part of our lives for generations.
They are beautiful and play an important role as prime bee and butterfly attractor in the environment. The classic white and yellow daisies are especially adept at attracting these helpful flying friends, but some varieties come in vibrant shades of yellow, pink, and more. One such variety is the Shasta Daisy, known for its long-blooming capabilities.
If you want to add color to your garden, consider getting some ‘Becky’ Shasta Daisy plants from Nature Hills Nursery. These easy-to-care-for plants are best planted in full sun and well-drained soil.
Crocus tommasianus are a beautiful sight in the early spring, with their cup-shaped blooms in various colors from pastel to vibrant brights. These tiny jewel-like flowers provide vital nectar to bumble bees emerging from hibernation on early spring days, giving them energy and helping them survive.
A crocus bulb can be planted in the ground or a container by planting corms in September in well-drained soil. They look amazing planted in large, colorful lawn swathes and are also great for naturalizing (spreading) in grass or gravel.
In contrast, striking purple shades, such as tommasianus, make an impact and are good bee-friendly plants. Crocus provides welcome sweet nectar for bumblebees and brings joy to gardeners alike.
Pulmonaria, commonly known as lungwort, is an excellent plant for pollinators. It is a member of the borage family with bright blue and purple bell-shaped flowers that are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. The flowers bloom in early spring, providing an essential nectar source for hungry pollinators after a long winter.
Pulmonaria also has large, hairy leaves attractive to other beneficial insects, such as lady beetles and hoverflies. This plant is best grown in partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. It is also a good choice for shady borders or woodland gardens, where it will spread rapidly and provide a long-lasting display of color throughout the season.
Lavender is an ideal plant for attracting pollinators to your garden. Not only does it have beautiful purple flowers, but it also has a wonderful scent that will attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Lavender blooms throughout the summer and can be planted in various soils, making it easy to care for.
It’s also drought-tolerant, so it can handle periods of dry weather. Plant lavender in full sun for the best results, and be sure to deadhead any spent flowers to encourage new blooms. Lavender is a great addition to any garden, providing visual appeal and plenty of nectar for pollinators.
Rosemary is a great choice for pollinators in the garden. It’s an herb that grows in many climates, and its fragrant leaves offer nectar and pollen to bees and other beneficial insects. Rosemary is also a hardy plant that can tolerate drought, making it ideal for dry regions or areas with limited water access.
Plus, its attractive foliage adds texture and color to the landscape. Plant rosemary in full sun and well-drained soil for the best results. It’s a great choice for herb gardens, borders, and other sunny spots in the garden.
Due to its nectar-rich flowers, Thyme is an excellent herb for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. It blooms in shades of pink and purple, making it a colorful addition to any garden. Thyme also has a pleasant aroma that can be enjoyed when crushed or rubbed between fingers.
The plant is hardy and easy to grow, requiring minimal maintenance once established. Plant thyme in full sun and well-drained soil for the best results. It’s an excellent choice for the garden’s rock gardens, borders, and other sunny spots.
Catmint is great for pollinator gardens, attracting bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. It’s an easy-to-grow perennial with fragrant foliage and showy lavender or blue flowers that bloom from summer to fall.
Catmint is also drought-tolerant and requires minimal maintenance once established. Plant catmint in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil for the best results. It’s an excellent choice for the garden’s borders, herb gardens, and other sunny spots.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is an excellent plant for attracting pollinators like bees, butterflies, and moths. Yarrow grows in various soils, from sandy to clay, and blooms from late spring to early summer with white or yellow flowers.
The flowers are arranged in flat-topped clusters that provide plenty of nectar for the pollinators that visit them. Plant yarrow in full sun for the best results, and deadhead any spent flowers to encourage new blooms. Yarrow is a great addition to any garden, providing plenty of nectar for pollinators and visual appeal all season long.
Sunflowers are excellent for pollinator gardens, attracting bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. These tall, colorful flowers bloom from summer to fall and provide plenty of nectar for pollinators.
Sunflowers are also easy to grow and require minimal maintenance once established. Plant sunflowers in full sun and well-drained soil for the best results. They’re great for borders, wildflower gardens, and other sunny spots.
Milkweed is an excellent choice for pollinator gardens, attracting bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. This plant has fragrant pink, purple, and white flowers that bloom from summer to fall.
Milkweed is also drought-tolerant and requires minimal maintenance once established. Plant milkweed in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil for the best results. It’s an excellent choice for borders, wildflower gardens, and other sunny spots.
Goldenrod is a great plant for pollinators. It is a beautiful, bright yellow wildflower that blooms in the late summer and fall. The flowers are full of nectar and pollen, which attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.
Goldenrod also provides shelter for beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings. This makes it a great addition to any garden or natural landscape—plant goldenrod in full sun and well-drained soil for the best results.
15. Bee Balm
Bee balm is an excellent choice for pollinator gardens, attracting bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. This colorful perennial has fragrant pink, purple, and white flowers that bloom from summer to fall.
Bee balm is also drought-tolerant and requires minimal maintenance once established. Plant bee balm in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil for the best results. It’s great for borders, wildflower gardens, and other sunny spots.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
1. What plant do bees love the most?
One of the most popular plants among bees is lavender. Lavender (Lavandula) is an aromatic herb with small purple or blue flowers, and it produces a sweet nectar that bees love. Other bee-friendly plants include yarrow, sunflowers, milkweed, goldenrod, and bee balm.
2. What is the best time of year to plant pollinator-friendly plants?
The best time of year to plant pollinator-friendly plants depends on your location and climate. In general, it’s best to plant pollinator-friendly plants in the spring and early summer when temperatures are mild and there is plenty of rainfall.
This will give the plants time to establish themselves before the cold winter months. In areas with hot summers, fall can also be a good time to plant pollinator-friendly plants as they will have time to become established before the summer heat.
3. How should pollinator-friendly plants be cared for?
Pollinator-friendly plants should be planted in areas with full sun and well-drained soil. They also need to be watered regularly, especially during dry periods.
Once established, many of these plants require minimal maintenance and are drought-tolerant. Additionally, avoiding using pesticides or other chemicals on pollinator-friendly plants is important as these can harm beneficial insects.
4. What are some of the best flowering plants for pollinators?
Flowering plants are essential for attracting pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Some of the best flowering plants for pollinators include lavender, yarrow, sunflowers, milkweed, bee balm, goldenrod, daisies, cosmos, zinnias, and coneflowers.
5. What native plants are best for pollinators?
Native plants are important for pollinators because they adapt to the local climate and environment and provide food sources throughout the year. Some of the best native plants for pollinators include butterfly weed, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, wild bergamot, New York ironweed, and Joe Pye weed. Additionally, native trees and shrubs like oak, willow, and dogwood are also great for providing food sources for pollinators.
Bee balm is an excellent choice for pollinator gardens, attracting bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. It’s a drought-tolerant plant that requires minimal maintenance once established. Additionally, some of the best flowering plants for pollinators include lavender, yarrow, sunflowers, milkweed, bee balm, goldenrod, daisies, and cosmos. Plant from those and help out pollinators a little.