The Best Perennial Flowers for Pollinators

Bees are vital to our ecosystem. There are over 3 million species of bees worldwide. Many of these bees play essential roles in pollination and food production. Unfortunately, bee populations are declining at alarming rates due to habitat destruction, pesticide usage, and other environmental pressures. This decline has led to concerns about global food security.

So, will you just sit back and watch? You shouldn't. If you have a backyard, then make it work for pollinators. Plant trees that will help bee populations to feed and grow. Dig into and learn about those plants which will attract bees.

Here are the best plants to attract bees:


Shorter, bushy plants are full of orange/yellow, daisy-like flowers that provide both pollen and nectar for pollinators. Other colors besides the classic orange are available in calendula, such as Strawberry Blonde. Some of our other favorites include Resina, Orange King, Pink Surprise, and Pacific Beauty.


Description: Marigolds are perennial flowers that grow tall from 2 to 12 inches (ca. 30 cm). There are wide varieties of marigolds, including African Blue, French Marigold, Mexican Sun Marigold, and Zinnia.

Like Calendula, they are great companions for vegetable gardens. They attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs. They repel pests like aphids, cabbage worms, and tomato hornworms.

1) Marigolds also make good-cut flower bouquets. Some marigolds are grown for their foliage, like Zinnias.

2) The plant size varies according to the variety, ranging from 3 inches (ca. 8 cm) tall to 4 feet (1.22 m) tall. This one is about 10 inches (ca. 25 cm) tall. There are three types of this plant. Such as:

3) 'Tangerine Gem' ~ Tagetes Elegans''This is a dwarf form of the common marigold. I planted it near my patio door to help control bug populations around our home.

4) 'French Garden' ~ Tagetes Simulata''This is another dwarf form of the common garden marigold. It grows well in pots.

5) 'Zinnia' ~ Zinnia elegans''This is the most popular type of zinnia. It looks great in containers and makes a nice cut.


Helenium is one of those plants you just love to see in bloom because of how beautiful it looks. This plant blooms in late June and early July. It grows into a clump about 18 inches (ca. 46 cm) high and spreads outwards.

Its leaves are heart-shaped with serrated edges and grow up to 3 inches (ca. 8 cm) long. Yellow daisy-like flowers form along the stem. They are very showy and attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Achillea (Yarrow)

This Flowering Perennial Is Drought Tolerant Once Established, Thrives In Hot, Dry Spots, And Attracts A Bevy Of Pollinators With Its Long Lasting Flowers In An Array Of Colors. Grows To 2′ – 3′ Tall And Wide.

This flowering perennial is drought tolerant, once established, thrives where it gets full sun and attracts a bevy of pollinators to your garden with its long-lasting blooms in an array of colors. Grow this easy-to-grow plant in rock gardens, borders, meadows, and sun beds.

Grow Achillea 'Blue Star' in full sun and well-drained soil. In colder areas, grow plants indoors during winter months. Cover seedlings with a clear plastic dome or cloches to protect tender young shoots from frost damage if you live in a cold climate.

Water regularly; do not let the soil become soggy. A single stem can produce up to 30 flowers over several weeks. Remove spent blossoms to encourage continuous bloom.


The coneflowers are a popular choice among gardeners because they bloom throughout the summer months. They're easy to grow, too. All you really need is sun and well-drained soil. You don't even need to fertilize it unless you want to feed the bees.

You can find wide varieties at your local nursery, but we like 'Paradiso' for its bright yellow petals. If you'd prefer something different, try one of our favorites, 'Tricolor.' It has red, white and blue flowers.


The daisy is one of the most recognizable flowers in the world. And while it’s often seen as just another garden plant, there’s actually quite a lot behind the simple white petals.

From bees and butterflies to birds and even humans, the daisy plays host to a whole range of species. Read on to learn about some of the best ways to grow your own daisies, including making a perfect daisy chain.


Sunflowers are annual members of the Asteraceae family. They grow best in full sun and well-drained soil; however, they tolerate light shade and poor drainage. Seedlings germinate readily. Sunflowers bloom from June to October.

Sunflowers are tall plants, reaching heights of 10 feet (ca. 3 m) and wider than 3 feet (0.91 m). Their stems are hollow and branched, and they bear numerous clusters of yellow ray florets surrounding many disc florets. Each cluster contains 5–20 individual flowers. Disc florets contain 4–8 tiny white or pinkish seeds. Ray florets have no seed.

The species name "Helianthus" derives from the Greek words meaning “sun” and “golden.” These flowers are commonly known as goldenrods, though they're composite flowers consisting of several petals. Some cultivars are double-flowered, producing both male and female flowers on the same plant.


This is another diverse grouping that encompasses hundreds of species, many of which are perennials. These plants grow anywhere from less than a foot to over five feet tall. They bloom from spring through summer, depending on your chosen plant.

Some varieties produce large clusters of fragrant blooms, while others produce smaller ones. Most are native to North America, but some have been introduced to other parts of the world.

Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)

There are many types of rudbeckias, but there are three main varieties: single, double, and daisy. Single-type rudbeckias include Black-Eyed Susan, Double Dutch, and Golden Glow. They grow about 15 inches (ca. 38 cm) tall and bloom in shades of orange, red, pink, purple, white, cream, and light blue.

Double-type rudbeckias, such as Goldilocks, include a second set of petals around the center. Daisies are just that — small clusters of petals surrounding a central disk. These plants are usually shorter and smaller than the others.

The most common rudbeckia is called Black-Eyed Susan because it resembles the face of a woman named Susan. This variety grows up to 24 inches (0.61 m) tall and blooms in shades of orange, yellow, red, gold, and pink.

There are dozens of cultivars of Black-Eyed Susan that differ slightly in color and height. Some are taller than 24 inches (0.61 m); some are even perennial.

Monarda (Bee Balm)

Monarda is one of those plants that you just don't want to miss out on growing. Its long blooming season provides a constant source of nectar and pollen throughout much of the summer and into autumn. And because of its attractive flowers and foliage, it makes a great cut flower. In fact, wide varieties are grown specifically for cutting.

The plant is native to North America and grows best in full sun to partial shade. A few varieties tolerate some drought, while others require regular watering during dry spells.

Most grow well in average soil conditions, though some prefer a slightly acidic mix. For the best growth and flowering, add plenty of compost to the planting hole each spring. Water regularly during hot weather.


Lavender is one of those plants that you either love or hate. If it’s the latter, we don’t blame you — lavender smells like soap mixed with cat litter. But if you fall into the former camp, there’s no denying that lavender is a beautiful addition to the garden.

And while most people think of lavender as a houseplant, it actually makes a great cut flower. In fact, you can even buy seeds directly from the company that grows the flowers for many florists, Eden Brothers.

Lavenders come in several colors: white, violet, blue, pink, and black. The flowers are produced abundantly all year round, making them perfect for attracting pollinating insects.

Lavenders also offer protection against pests such as aphids, spider mites, and slugs. You can use the plants yourself or let your children enjoy their fragrance by letting them pick the blossoms at various times of the day. It’ll keep them busy for hours.


Excellent choice for pollinator gardens. As a group, they attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, which will help reduce pest problems in your garden. Tulips are easy to grow and maintain; they’re also very inexpensive to purchase. Plus, the bulbs themselves are fairly easy to dig up from the ground when the time comes.

There are two basic kinds of tulip bulbs: spring and winter. Spring tulips bloom in early spring after a cold period. Winter tulips bloom later in the spring once temperatures have warmed up.

Both tulips have large, showy flower heads ranging in size from 6 to 12 inches (ca. 30 cm). Because tulips are so easy to care for, they make good choices for beginner gardeners who are looking to learn more about gardening.


Milkweed is one of those plants you don't see every day. But it's easy to recognize because it produces milk-like white flowers that attract hundreds of different species of birds and insects. In fact, milkweed is considered a "nectar surrogate," providing food for many animals. Some people even use milkweed seeds as a natural insect repellant.

Native Americans used milkweed to treat burns and wounds, while Europeans used the leaves to make tea. Today, scientists still study milkweed because it provides clues about how plants work. Scientists know that some parts of milkweed contain chemicals called glycosides. These compounds help protect the plant against disease and pests.


The snapdragon is one of the world’s most popular garden flowers. It is known for its large, showy blooms ranging from 3 inches to over 2 feet across. They come in many colors, including white, pink, purple, orange, and black.

In addition to being beautiful, the snapdragon is highly beneficial in the garden. Not only does it attract pollinating insects like bees and butterflies, but it also provides food for those same creatures.

The snapdragon is native to the Mediterranean region and Asia Minor. However, it is now found throughout much of the temperate regions around the globe. Today, the plant is grown commercially for cut flowers, bedding plants, and landscape use. Snapdragons thrive in full sun but do well with partial shade.

They prefer fertile soil rich in organic matter. Most varieties need little fertilizer. If you're growing the plants for commercial purposes, you'll want to find out what kind of pesticides are commonly used on other crops in your area. This way, you can avoid using any pesticides that might harm your plants.


Marigold is one of those plants that you just don't know what to do with. You see it every spring and fall and think, "Oh yeah, I'm gonna plant that." And then you forget about it because it doesn't look like much.

But there's something about marigold flowers that makes me want to keep planting them. They're bright and cheerful and come in a wide range of colors. Plus, they bloom throughout the summer and into autumn.

I've been growing marigolds since I was a kid. My mom used to grow them in our garden, giving us seeds each spring. We planted them everywhere: around the house, in pots, and outside planters.

We loved getting the little seedlings up, watering them, and watching them grow. Then we'd harvest them later in the season.

My favorite part was pulling out the big stalks and cutting them down to make bouquets. If you let them dry, the stems break apart naturally, making great cut flowers.

Nowadays, most people use marigolds to attract pollinators. Walking in the woods, I always notice how many different kinds of bugs are attracted to the flowers. Bees love them, too.

The trouble is, though, that marigolds aren't easy to grow. They prefer full sun, well-drained soil, lots of water, and plenty of fertilizer. They'll tolerate drought conditions but won't thrive without regular feeding.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is the most important pollinator?

The most common pollinators are native honey bees. They pollinate diverse crops as 'volunteers.' Many initiatives have been initiated to aid the health of honey bees due to recent problems with colony collapse and bee pests.

2. What is a bee's favorite flower?

The length of the tongue determines a bee's flower preference. While long-tongued bees can easily access nectar from tubular-shaped blossoms such as penstemons, columbines, and honeysuckles, short-tongued bees prefer daisies, asters, and sunflowers.

3. What are wasps' favorite flowers?

A wasp is more likely to be attracted to blue, purple, white, and yellow flowers and less likely to be attracted to warmer, red flowers. The wasps are active during the day, so evening primrose and jasmine will not attract them.

4. What is the best way to attract bees?

You can attract bees by planting these flowers.

5. What colors do wasps hate?

Wear white if you want the best results. Bees and wasps tend to stay away from people who lack color. You will now understand why a beekeeper wears a white outfit next time you see one.


Pollinator is the most important thing to our environment. Saving them is like a duty to us. Planting plants will surely be a help to bees. Those above trees will surely attract bees. So, What are you waiting for? Plants those trees and helps out bees.

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