Best Plants to Attract Pollinators

Planning your pollinator garden?

Pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees sure are fun to watch, but they play an even bigger role: They’re heroes in a global ecosystem! After all, pollinators could be responsible for one in every three bites of food. Open your fridge, peek in your lunch bag, and much of what you see is thanks to pollinators.

Happily, it’s easy to invite these creatures to your yard by filling your landscape with plants they love. Your reward will be a parade of color from blooming plants, loads of fruits and veggies, and a flurry of colorful, joyful activity.

Before we get to the best pollinator plants, know this: Pollinators will love it when you grow strong, vigorous plants so the flowers keep coming. Always tuck plants into well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. In raised beds, use Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil. For in-ground beds, try Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers when planting annuals or perennials. In beds for trees or shrubs, use Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil For Trees & Shrubs. These products give plants a solid start and provide an ideal environment for roots.

Remember, too, that plants need feeding to grow their best. Treat flowers to a meal of Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Rose & Bloom Plant Food, and keep flowering shrubs and trees in tip-top shape with Miracle-Gro® Shake 'n Feed® Flowering Trees & Shrubs Plant Food. (Be sure to follow label directions.) Both fertilizers help fuel a strong flower show that pollinators will appreciate.

Best Pollinator Plants

Work some of these plants into existing planting beds, a raised bed garden, an herb garden, a vegetable garden, or containers. Pollinator plants fit almost anywhere! Rest assured, too, that these plants are all easy to find, even if you haven’t heard some of the names before. And though you can start many of them from seed, you may want to simply buy young plants instead so they’ll already be well on their way to maturity. For excellent results with annual flowers, look for the wide range of premium-quality varieties in the Miracle-Gro® Brilliant Blooms collection*. (Plants are listed in approximate order of bloom time.)

Best Pollinator Plants: Annuals (grow for one season only)

Sweet alyssum

Pansy

Viola

Violet

Calendula

Marigold

Nasturtium

Morning glory

Cardinal Climber vine

Verbena

Cleome

Mexican sunflower

Four o’clock

Petunia

Sage (all types)

Lantana (perennial in zones 8-10)

Pentas

Sunflower

Zinnia

Best Pollinator Plants: Perennials (return season after season)

Creeping phlox

Allium (all types)

False indigo

Lupine

Dame’s rocket

Bleeding heart

Coral bells

Catmint

Bee balm

Red hot poker (aka torch lily)

Milkweed

Hyssop

Trumpet vine

Cross vine

Liatris

Coneflower (all types)

Honeysuckle

Daisy

Penstemon

Joe-Pye weed<

Passionflower vine

Rudbeckia (aka brown-eyed Susan, black-eyed Susan)

Garden phlox

Helianthus

Sedum (all types)

Yarrow

Russian sage

Goldenrod

Aster

Best Pollinator Plants: Herbs

Rosemary

Borage

Dill

Fennel

Thyme

Lavender

Oregano

Basil

Mint

Pineapple sage

Best Pollinator Plants: Shrubs

Blueberry

Weigela

Rhododendron

Elderberry

Spicebush

Chokeberry

Raspberry

Beautyberry

Holly

Butterfly bush

Summersweet

Buttonbush

Rose of Sharon

Caryopteris

Viburnum (all types)

Best Pollinator Plants: Trees

Horse chestnut

Plum

Crabapple

Flowering cherry

Maple

Pear

Hawthorn

Locust

Linden

Chinese chestnut

For more specifics on turning your yard into a pollinator paradise, check out our How to Attract Pollinators article.

 

*available exclusively from Lowe's

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