Pollination by animals like birds or bats is not possible because they can’t carry pollen from plant to plant. On the other hand, bees often do an incredible job at pollinating plants but cannot live outside their hives for more than a few days (unless someone happens upon them.)

So, what’s left? Native perennial flowers provide nectar sources on which many different species of bees depend each season, including native solitary bee species that make nests above ground – perfect for attracting those helpful flying critters.

What are perennial flowers?

Perennial flowers are those that bloom for more than two years. They are typically planted in the spring and summer, and their blooms last from early summer to late fall.

Types: Some of the most popular perennial flowers include daisies, roses, lilies, and sunflowers.

Benefits: Perennial flowers are a great way to add color and beauty to your garden without replanting them yearly. They also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, which can help your other plants thrive.

Which perennials attract the most pollinators?

There are many pollinators, including bees, butterflies, moths, birds, and even some bats. Each type of pollinator is attracted to different types of flowers.

Best Flowers for Each Type

There is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding the best flower for attracting pollinators. However, some general tips include choosing brightly colored flowers with a strong scent for bees, butterflies, and moths, choosing white or pale colored flowers with a strong scent for moths, and choosing brightly colored berries or fruits for birds.

For Butterflies

Butterfly Bush

These beautiful flowers bloom in shades of purple, lavender, pink, and white during the spring and summer. They’re easy to maintain and require little care once planted.

The plant grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. However, it can tolerate shade if you live in zone 9 or warmer. Planting butterfly bushes in groups of three or four gives the plants plenty of space to spread out.

You’ll want to give your butterfly bush ample room to grow since it reaches up to 10 feet tall and wide. It can grow quite large, so you might consider planting several varieties to ensure there’s always something flowering.


Butterfly weeds (Asclepias) are perennials that grow from seed and produce flowers yearly. They’re not the only ones who enjoy them; hummingbirds, wild bees, and other pollinators also appreciate them.

Growing it from seed is challenging and calls for an early indoor head start, but tubers are readily accessible and easier to plant come spring.

Is the kind that can survive in high temperatures what you’re after? Asclepias ‘Red Butterfly,’ which blooms in vibrant orange and crimson, is a lovely choice.

For small Bees

Cow Parsnip

The cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) is a great natural source of nectar and pollination for a wide variety of insects, especially small bees and butterflies, due to the size of its compound umbels (a fancier way of saying a certain type of flower cluster that is common among members of the parsley family).

This gorgeous plant is indigenous to North America and thrives in various environments, from open woods to dense forests to grassland. Here you will be able to find seeds.

For Prime Bees


In addition to attracting bees and butterflies, this lowly bloom is also a great nectar source. This flower’s signature white and yellow color scheme is known for luring beneficial insects and other flying creatures. However, daisies can also be found in various bright colors, such as pink and yellow.

For Bumble Bees


It’s no secret that bumblebees are crazy about snapdragons. So, as a result of natural selection, it now has a perfume, color, and shape that are all geared specifically at attracting bumblebees, which are essential to its survival as a pollinator.

So, the snapdragon knows exactly when the bumblebee is most active during the day and emits its aroma, making itself enticing to the buzzing pollinator.

The colors of the snapdragon are likewise far from a random choice. Bees lack red vision but have excellent yellow, blue, and UV vision. It’s as if someone plastered a gigantic billboard with the words “All you can eat, this way.” across each blossom.

And the petals’ distinctive bell shape makes it easy for the little bees to fly in and out of the flower.

For Mosquitos and flies


This perennial plant is neither a flower nor an herb but is essential for attracting pollinators.

Lavender, which draws bees like crazy, also possesses unique properties that repel other pests like fleas and flies.

As one might expect, lavender has a delightful aroma and may be used both fresh and dried to create a relaxing atmosphere at home.

For Birds


The stunning sunflower is ideal for luring in pollinators and the birds that feast on its seeds. Having birds around is ideal because they help with pollination and other tasks around the garden.

These bright blossoms will attract many species of birds, butterflies, and bees to your garden.

For Hummingbirds

Agastache (Hyssop)

Agastache is a perennial that reliably blooms in the summer, producing fragrant flower spikes in a rainbow of colors and forms that attract pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. This perennial will not survive in the soggy ground and will thrive in soil that drains quickly.

However, once established, these plants can withstand dry conditions. Depending on the variety, it can reach a height of 20 inches and a width of 16 inches to 32 inches when fully mature. Blooms from summer until fall.

For Moths


Colors found in marigolds, which bloom annually, include red, orange, and yellow. They make great companion plants, much like calendula does. Pest insects, such as cabbage moths, are kept at bay. It has been found that French marigolds can prevent root-knot nematodes in the soil. Depending on the species, a plant can be as small as 6 inches or as tall as 4 feet.

These Tangerine Gem plants are very sweet and small. Marigolds can be pruned back easily if they become too large for their space and begin to smother nearby vegetables. They never stop flowering, from late spring through to the first frost.

For Aphids

Nasturtium ~ Tropaeolum

The nasturtium is a beautiful, tasty, invasive plant. Both the blossoms and the peppery, arugula-like leaves can be eaten. Our feathered buddies benefit from the pollen and nectar of the many different colored flowers.

Naturally spreads itself all over your garden. Aloha mix, a tropical beauty that attracts hummingbirds, and Alaska mix, a beautiful mix of different colors and textures, are our favorites.

The majority of the world experiences its blooming season from early summer to late fall.

Bringing in the likes of bumblebees, hummingbirds, and moths. They are also effective as a “trap crop” since aphids enjoy eating them. If the aphid population gets out of hand, spray it with water.

What are the benefits of attracting pollinators to your garden?

Pollination is essential for healthy crops. Insects, including honeybees, play an important role by transferring pollen from male to female flowers. Without pollination, fruits would not develop properly. The following are a few reasons to consider adding more pollinator-friendly plants to your garden.

1. Honey Bees

Honeybees are responsible for pollinating approximately 80% of the food we eat. In fact, without honey bees, there would be no fruit trees, apples, oranges, peaches, pears, cherries, plums, apricots, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, grapes, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, garlic, carrots, peas, beans.

2. Butterflies

Butterflies are one of the most common types of insect visitors to gardens. They feed on nectar and pollen, which are necessary for reproduction. Butterflies also help control pests such as aphids, caterpillars, and other harmful insects.

3. Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are tiny birds that hover around flowers looking for nectar. Their long tongues allow them to reach deep into the flower’s center, where nectar is located. Many people think hummingbirds visit only flowers during the day but will also come to your garden at night.

4. Ladybugs

Ladybugs are beneficial because they prey on aphids, whiteflies, thrips, spider mites, and other harmful insects that damage plants. Ladybugs are attracted to bright lights and often hang out near porch light fixtures.

5. Moth Caterpillars

Moth caterpillars are beneficial because they eat pest insects that harm plants. Some moth caterpillars even eat weeds.

6. Birds

Birds are another type of pollinator that visits your garden. They eat seeds, bugs, worms, and grubs. Birds also eat slugs and snails.

7. Bats

Bats are beneficial because they eat mosquitoes, flies, beetles, spiders, and other pests that cause garden problems.

8. Dragonflies

Dragonflies are beneficial because they eat mosquito larvae. They also eat small flying insects like gnats and midges.

9. Beetles

Beetles are beneficial because they eat pests like aphids, grasshoppers, and other harmful insects found in gardens.

10. Spiders

Spiders are beneficial because they eat harmful insects like aphids, grasshoppers, and other harmful pests.

11. Worms

Worms are beneficial because they eat soil-borne pathogens that attack plants.

What are the planting and care requirements for these flowers?

These perennials can grow up to 10 feet tall with large blooms. You may want to plant some of these flowering shrubs or vines in containers if you don’t have enough space in your yard.

Marigold (Tagetes)

Easy to grow. Plant seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost or outdoors immediately afterward. We recommend lots of sunshine and a comfortable temperature. Suitable for a variety of soil types and containers. Keep the soil moist but not drenched.

Lavender (Lavendula)

Full sun is ideal. However, in very hot areas, midday shade is acceptable. Use only soil with good drainage. Add half the cactus mix even. Dripping water is the worst possible thing for lavender. Therefore, overwatering is a common error when caring for lavender.

Plus, it thrives in low- to medium-nutrient soil, so there’s no need to waste money on fertilizer. Growing lavender from seed takes time and patience. As a rule, we purchase already-established plants from a nearby nursery.


It can be sown directly outside. It’s easy to grow your plants from seed; sow them in the ground in the spring once the threat of frost has passed, or get a head start by germinating them indoors. Prospers in pots and gardens alike, regardless of soil quality.

Drought-resistant; thrives in hot, dry conditions. Complete shade is not necessary, even in the warmest of conditions. Don’t use fertilizer if you want flowers rather than just foliage.

Agastache (Anise Hyssop)

A partial midday shadow is OK in hotter climates, but a full sun is ideal. Make sure the soil is rich and has good drainage before planting. Composting the soil in the planting hole is helpful, but fertilizer is unnecessary. Once established, an Agastache plant may survive in dry conditions. In temperate regions, it dies back each winter and grows annually.

Despite this, it’s not hard to self-seed, so it’ll keep returning to your garden year after year. Plant seeds on top of the soil without burying them. It’s important to be patient because germination often takes a few weeks. Another alternative is to buy mature plants from a nursery close by.

Echinacea (Coneflower)

Prefer bright light but may survive in dappled shade. Plant in compost-rich soil, but make sure it drains well. They can survive in hot, dry conditions.

What are the best times of year to plant these flowers?

Perennial flowers that attract pollinators are an important part of any garden. They provide food and habitat for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects and help to ensure a healthy ecosystem.

Many perennial flowers attract pollinators, and the best time to plant them will vary depending on the species. Some flowers, such as lavender and echinacea (coneflower), bloom in the summer and are best planted in the spring.

Others, such as lobelia and gaillardia (blanket flower), bloom in the fall and are best planted in late summer or early fall. Still others, such as Liatris (blazing star) and asters, bloom in late summer or fall but can be planted in spring or early summer.

No matter what time of year it is, there is always a perennial flower that will attract pollinators to your garden.

What can you do to attract pollinators to your garden?

1. Plant flowering perennials throughout your yard. These include annuals, biennials, and perennials. Annuals grow one season and then die off, while biennials live two seasons before dying off. Perennials live for years and may bloom multiple times each year.

2. Use native plants whenever possible. Native plants have evolved over millions of years and are adapted to their local environment. As a result, they require less water than non-native plants and don’t spread invasive species.

3. Create a diverse landscape by including both natives and non-natives. This helps to create a more stable ecosystem where all parts work together.

4. Grow flowers that attract pollinators. Many types of flowers attract specific pollinators. For example, some attract hummingbirds. Some attract bees.

What are the risks of attracting pollinators to your garden?

1. Pollinators may carry diseases that could infect your plants.

2. Pollinators may inadvertently damage your plants while feeding on them.

3. Some pollinators, such as bees, can sting if they feel threatened.


1. Plant a variety of flowers to attract a diversity of pollinators. This will reduce the risk of any one species carrying a disease that could infect your plants.

2. Inspect your plants regularly for signs of damage from pollinators and take action to protect them if necessary (e.g., by covering them with netting).

3. Be aware of the potential for stings and take precautions accordingly (e.g., wearing protective clothing when working in the garden).

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. Which perennial flower has the most pollinator visits?

The white campion is the bee-pollinated plant with the most visitors, followed by the pink lady’s mantle and the yellow rattle.

2. Which perennial attracts the most hummingbirds?

The answer is “the sunflower.”

3. Which perennial attracts the least amount of bees?

The plant with the most flowers per unit area is called Perennial Peony.

4. Which perennials are easy to care for?

Perennials are plants that live for more than two years. They can be grown from seed, cuttings, or divisions. The most common types include geraniums, petunias, begonias, impatiens, marigolds, zinnias, and sunflowers.

5. How do you know which perennials attract pollinators?

You can tell if plants attract bees by looking at their flowers. They probably attract pollinators if they’re yellow, red, orange, purple, pink, or white.


Creating a garden that attracts pollinators is not only visually stunning but also crucial for the health of our environment. By incorporating perennial flowers that attract pollinators into your garden, you can provide a vital food source for bees, butterflies, and other important pollinators. Not only will you be supporting these essential creatures, but you’ll also enjoy the beauty and fragrance of a vibrant garden.

About the Author

Virginia E. Hayes is a gardening enthusiast who loves to write about gardening tools, safety issues, and ways to keep gardens clean and safe. With her vast experience in gardening, she provides valuable insights and tips to help fellow gardening enthusiasts to enhance their gardening experience. Her passion for gardening and writing has made her a sought-after author in the gardening community.

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