Pollinating flowers is a two way street. The only way bees and other helpful pollinators will make a difference in your garden is if you help them out by planting flowers they love. From top-choice plants to planting tips, we've got everything you need for a perfect pollinator garden.
One of the best things about gardening is bringing wildlife to your space. And we don't mean deer and rabbits—we mean pollinators. Pollinators are insects that help plants make fruit by transferring pollen from plant to plant, therefore assisting the plants in reproduction. By adding plants to your garden that pollinators love, you're not only helping your own garden but the environment, as well.
Pollinator plants are typically brightly colored and have a strong smell, which attracts the pollinating bees and insects. When shopping for pollinator plants, be sure to look for flowers that are fully open, allowing for easier access to helpful insects.
Plant three to five types of each pollinator plant together and layer them throughout the garden. You'll get beautiful drifts of color, plus the pollinating bees will love the activity the garden provides.
Plant a pool of bright yellow in your garden with black-eyed Susan. Not only do these beautiful blooms bring plenty of bees to your garden, but they also are drought-resistant, making them super easy to care for. There are several varieties of black-eyed Susan, so you'll have no problem fitting this species into your landscape.
As the name indicates, this pollinator plant is visited by butterflies of all kinds, but hummingbirds love this plant, too. Butterfly bush emits a sweet scent that attracts pollinators near and far. This plant can be weedy in parts of the country, so do your research prior to planting it.
When you visualize bees feeding on the nectar of a flower, odds are the first plant that comes to mind is coneflower. Purple coneflower is the most well-known plant that attracts pollinating bees, birds, and butterflies. These shuttlecock-shaped, pollinating flowers originated purple, but colors have expanded to yellow, orange, burgundy, and cream.
Yarrow is an easy-to-grow pollinating flower that will add a wildflower look to any garden. Use yarrow as a groundcover or along borders to bring pollinating bees to your space. It's important to deadhead spent flowers in order for the plant rebloom, but if you do not wish to deadhead yarrow, the dried blooms can be left on the plant for winter interest.
More Planting Tips
Keep Blooms Deadheaded
Pollinators are searching for nectar in fresh flowers, so pinch off any dry, spent blooms to keep the pollinators coming. The more you pinch back, the better.
Try a Container
Another way to create a pollinator garden is to plant a container. Be sure that the plants you're putting together in pots have similar care needs. Thanks to colorful pollinator plants available, it'll be the brightest container garden you've seen.
Don't Use Pesticides
Be sure to stay away from pesticides because they deter even the most helpful insects in your garden. If you want bees to pollinate your garden, this is a step to definitely follow.
Another thing that makes pollinators happy in your pollinator garden is a water source. Put a small pebble or stone in your birdbath to give insects a spot to perch and sip.