Top 30 Plants That Attract Pollinators
Looking forward to a garden that will let you enjoy rhododendrons in the spring, honeysuckle in the summer and pumpkins in autumn? To enjoy a garden, you need pollinators along with the soil, the seed and the sun! Pollinators are essential to the reproduction of 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants.
In fact, pollinators are key to the transformative stages in plants that bring about beautiful flowers and tasty veggies. Since they are so vital to the ecosystem, we created a list of our favorite flowers that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
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What Is Pollination?
To produce seeds, flowers, fruits and vegetables, many plants need to be pollinated. These plants produce nectar, which attracts pollinators including butterflies, bees and birds. As the pollinators move from flower to flower gathering nectar, they also transport pollen from one plant to the next.
Flowers have both male and female parts, known respectively as anthers and stigma. Pollination occurs when pollen grains move from anthers to stigma. When it arrives on the stigma, a piece of pollen develops a tube that reaches from the style to the ovary. Fertilization occurs, and seeds will follow.
Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds are some of nature’s primary pollinators, but moths, certain types of insects, the wind and even bats can also help the process.
Unfortunately, many parts of the U.S. have seen declines in pollinators. In many cases, their habitats are threatened by urbanization. Pesticides with harmful chemicals also kill pollinators along with weeds and predators.
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Because pollinators are so essential to a garden, and potentially threatened, it is a great idea to add plants to your yard that are known to attract pollinators.
Planting a Pollinator-Friendly Garden
Here is some general advice for planting flowers that attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.
First, planting in clumps rather than having one type grouped together is optimal. It heightens the pollinators’ journey from plant to plant. Plant with a mix of colors and scents to appeal to various pollinators.
Second, remember that pollinators need a habitat where they can live and reproduce. Leave space and water for them to do so.
Third, plan your garden with seasons in mind. If pollinators have no nectar to eat during certain seasons, they will forage elsewhere until they find it. You don’t want them to leave! Remember that autumn vegetables such as squash and tomatoes have flowers.
Fourth, consider using native plants for the simple reason that they will attract pollinators that are also native to your area. They can also serve as hosts for the larvae of your favorite pollinators.
To find out which plants and pollinators are native to your region, go to a pollinator guide and fill in your zip code.
Plants that Attract Butterflies
Butterflies love red and purple flowers. They also love fresh scents, but not strong ones — faint is best. Some flowers that attract butterflies include:
They also lay their eggs in the plants. Some species lay on milkweed, while others use chokecherry leaves. When the larvae hatch, they can have an immediate meal, which increases their chance of survival.
Butterflies like to live in hollows of trees or logs where there is room and safety for a chrysalis, so a butterfly garden will benefit from trees or logs.
Flowers that Attract Bees
Bees love plants that are bright white, yellow or blue, or have contrasting colors. They like mild and pleasant scents.
Specific bee-friendly plants include:
- Bee balm
Remember that flowers planted to attract honeybees will attract all kinds of bees. Be sure to be prepared if you have a family member who is allergic to bee stings!
Bees will build a hive if they have a supportive habitat and space. A bee nesting block would be a helpful addition if you have the room.
Flowers Hummingbirds Like
Hummingbirds like to get nectar from flowers with a trumpet shape. They are attracted to orange, red, pink and white colors.
Specific flowers hummingbirds are attracted to include:
- Bird of Paradise
- Chinese Bell Flowers
- Yellow Trumpet Bush
Hummingbirds build nests in trees and large bushes. They do not need a cavity, but build and maintain nests on limbs. They also bathe frequently, as the nectar they collect is sticky. To attract hummingbirds to a garden, consider providing a source of fresh water such as a bird bath.
What Flowers Are In Your Garden?
We would love to see the flowering plants in your garden, so share them with us when you visit Safer® Brand on Facebook. If you have any additional tips for attracting pollinators to a yard, please share them with us on Facebook. We love to hear from our readers!
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