These Are the Best Nectar Plants for Pollinators
Torch lilies (Kniphofia spp.) add unique texture and color to the garden, and also provides food for pollinators. This flowering perennial—also known as red-hot poker—produces loads of nectar throughout the hottest days of summer. Exceptionally easy to grow with a wide hardiness range, red hot poker is a great addition to any full-sun planting spot.
A magnet for pollinators, this fragrant perennial blooms from early to late summer. Bee balm (Monarda spp.) is low maintenance and deer resistant. Snip off spent flowers to encourage reblooming.
Lavender (Lavandula spp.) attracts all sorts of pollinators, but honeybees have a special affinity for the fragrant herb’s nectar and pollen. Plant lavender in large patches for a romantic, delicate look. This classic garden plant also helps with erosion control, making it a great choice for sloped beds.
Try spider flower (Cleome hassleriana) for a dramatic burst of color. Ever-reliable, this annual blooms in full sun to part shade. Remove spent flowers before seedpods form, or let plants self-sow.
A large group of perennial salvias (Salvia spp.) attracts bees galore to the garden. Faithfully deadheading plants prompts more flowering. This tall garden plant is drought tolerant and adds lovely fragrance to the garden.
Catmint's (Nepeta spp.) bloom show tends to reach its peak color just as most of the spring bulbs are finishing and before many of your summer perennials begin to bloom, easily filling in some color during that seasonal transition. This tough perennial herb excels in hot, dry weather. Plant it in full sun and well-draining soil at the garden’s edge.
Beardtongue (Penstemon spp.) is a gorgeous native plant that gives pollinators the nectar they are looking for. The tubular flowers come in a variety of colors and bloom at various times. The perennial plants attract hummingbirds in particular.
An ideal plant for hanging baskets, wall pots, and other containers in a shaded location. Fuschia (Fuschia spp.) blooms feature two layers of petals—often in different colors—and long stamen. Tender and hardy varieties prove spectacular.
This upright perennial herb grows easily from seeds or seedlings in Zones 4–10 and self-sows freely. Anise hyssop (Agastache foenicullum) is heat- and drought-tolerant, and attract birds as well. Its scent marries licorice and mint.
Thyme (Thymus spp.) is a go-to option for attracting pollinators. This large group of herbs includes groundcovers and upright plants. Harvesting thyme throughout the growing season promotes new growth.