The importance of building a garden of pollinator-friendly flowers is almost impossible to overstate. Making plant choices that consider your bird, bee, and butterfly neighbors is an easy way to decorate your garden and help flower pollination. At least 70 of the world’s top 100 crops produced in America rely on bee pollination: without bees, many of our favorite foods and flowers wouldn’t even exist!
Giving pollinators like bees and butterflies a space to do their thing is one of the easiest ways to help the environment and conserve biodiversity! We’ll help you find beautiful plants that help with flower pollination, and point you in the direction of which flowers attract bees and butterflies. Here are our picks for some of the most pollinator-friendly flowers.
Flower Pollination Basics
Bright, showy flowers are magnets for bees, which is good news, because they’ll also bring color into your garden.
But – safety first! A crucial element of making your flowers pollinator-friendly is to avoid spraying your plants with pesticides, which can be harmful to bees and butterflies. You’ll also want to provide a water source, such as a bowl of water filled with marbles, so that bees may land to re-hydrate without worrying about drowning!
So Which Flowers Attract Bees and Pollinators?
Shaped like miniature blue and purple stars, this perennial plant forms in masses and can grow up to three feet tall! It blooms from late spring through the early summer, and does best in sunny areas. The Arkansas Blue Star has beautiful, feathery foliage of a bright green that a will turn golden-yellow in the fall.
Officially named Monarda, this bloom is so beloved by bees that its common name is Bee Balm. Related to the mint, bee balm has a strong citrus fragrance, similar to that of an orange. The plant has long been used for medicinal purposes, such as an antiseptic and to alleviate stomach pain. Bee balm comes in bright pinks, purples, oranges, and reds, and blooms midsummer through early fall.
If you’ve ever been to a butterfly sanctuary, you’ve definitely come across this bush. Butterfly weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that blooms all the way from early summer to early autumn. Named for the butterflies that are attracted to the plant by its color and its copious production of nectar, this is a perfect pollinator plant.
Sunflowers are a bright bloom with plenty of pollen and nectar to draw in birds, butterflies, and bees. As we all know, sunflowers can grow extremely tall; in fact, the world record for the tallest sunflower is 30 feet. But not all sunflowers are made equal: there are over 70 different varieties of sunflower, including the giant, the smooth, the hairy and the swamp.
Sunflower growing is fairly easy. Start in pots from early April onward, leaving between 45 cm between each seed. Choose a sunny spot, unexposed to high winds, and leave the plants there until the threat of frost is over before transferring to a garden.
Yarrow is a flowering herb native to Asia, Europe, and North America. In many countries, it has been used medicinally to stanch the flow of blood from wounds, while in America, it has been used for centuries by Native Americans to help soothe toothaches, as a head cold remedy, and more.
Not only is yarrow a yummy human treat, but it’s also a food source for many insects, such as beetles, moths, and wasps. Birds also use the herb to line their nests.
Yarrow is a hardy perennial plant whose tiny, tightly-packed flowers are a perfect ground cover to fill in gaps in your pollinator-friendly garden. Yarrow is available in yellow, red, pink, and all shades in between.
Now that you know which flowers attract bees and other pollinators, we hope you’ll feel free to use that knowledge for an exciting, pollinator-friendly garden reno. And if you need inspiration, don’t hesitate to browse some of our favorite flower pairings!Shop All