Are you looking for ways to bring bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden? I’ll share tips on how to attract bees and other pollinators to the garden and which flowers they love the most.
Attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden is easier than you think. If you grow plants that are rich in nectar from summer to fall, you’re sure to have these visitors coming back again and again.
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I’m a self-taught hobby gardener, not a Master Gardener. Everything I share with you on my blog is my personal opinion and things that worked for me along the way.
What is Pollination?
Pollination is an important part of a plant’s life cycle.
Flowers need to be pollinated before they can produce. Most plants would not be able to produce fruit or set seeds without flower pollination.
Flower pollination begins when a pollinator, such as a bee, lands on a flower in search of food. The bee sips nectar from it while pollen sticks to its body. When the bee flies to a new flower, the pollen from the last bloom rubs off onto the new one. Pollination occurs as the bee lands on each flower.
Tips for Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden
Here are some tips for what to plant in your garden to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds and how to keep them returning.
Grow a variety of plants that will bloom at different times throughout the year. This will provide nonstop food for the pollinators.
When you combine certain varieties of plants, they’ll not only attract pollinators but will protect each other by repelling pests and increasing plant productivity.
Mix Types of Flower Structures
Plant different flower structure types to help bring different varieties of pollinators to your garden. Different species of bees have different tongue lengths and will be attracted to those flowers that are compatible with their specific anatomy.
Avoid Using Pesticides in the Garden
Many pesticides are extremely toxic to bees and other beneficial insects.
Deadhead Any Spent Flower Blooms
Spent blooms should be deadheaded consistently so that the plant will continue to produce new flowers for the pollinators.
Avoid Double Flower Varieties
The extra petals on the double flower varieties have replaced the nectar and pollen-producing parts. Pollinators can get more nectar at one time with plants that have multiple florets.
Grow Native Plants
Native plants have evolved along with native pollinators, and are 4 times more attractive to them, making these plants an important part of your garden.
Grow Plants in Groups
Grouping flowers rather than placing them individually throughout the garden will attract more pollinators. The large cluster of blooming plants allows the pollinators to feed more efficiently.
Flowers That Attract Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Other Pollinators to the Garden
Here are some of the flowers I have planted in my garden to help bring the pollinators back time and time again.
Dahlias are a great flower for attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Be aware that pollinators like open center dahlia varieties.
Pollinators don’t like petals that are too close together for them to access such as pom-pom or cactus dahlia varieties.
Zinnias are a favorite for bees and hummingbirds. Birds love the seeds that develop once the pollinators have feasted on their nectar.
Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love cosmos. This annual will bloom from late spring until the fall’s first frost.
Also known as echinacea, this perennial is loved by bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Birds like the drying seed heads. I see more bees on these blooms than any other flower I have in my garden. The bloom time in my hardiness zone 8b is from early summer to mid-fall.
This plant blooms from mid-summer to fall and attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, as well as birds who love the seeds.
Daisies are an early summer bloomer and stick around until the first part of August in my garden. They are great pollen producers and attract bees and butterflies.
Bumblebees love snapdragons for so many reasons. The bell-shaped flower is perfect for the bees to buzz in and out. I’ve also read that the way the snapdragon’s patterns are arranged on each flower is a huge attractor to these pollinators.
Did you know that this flower releases a scent during the bee’s most active hours of the day to attract them?
Fuchsias are a hummingbird favorite throughout the summer months. Bees are attracted to this plant as well.
Heliotrope blooms from summer to fall and attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.
Monarch butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love these tall, purple fuzzy spears that bloom in July and August.
This annual is a great companion plant in the garden that repels pest insects. It blooms from late spring until the first frost of the season and attracts butterflies and moths.
Asters are a perennial that bloom from early summer to fall and attract bees and butterflies. Known to be disease and deer-resistant, I have had an aphid infestation this summer with mine.
Sunflowers bloom from summer through fall and are attractors to pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds. Birds love to eat the seeds.
This flower also has bee-healing properties in its pollen so be sure to plant open-pollinated sunflower varieties.
Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love the spikes found on salvia.
Lavender is a perennial herb that not only attracts pollinators but helps ward off flies, fleas, and mosquitos. The tiny flower spikes are the perfect size for honeybees.
Butterflies and bees are attracted to herb plants like chives, dill, parsley, and sage when you let them flower. Caterpillars will feed on your herb plants, but will quickly turn into butterflies.
I hope this gives you a few ideas on how to attract bees and other pollinators to the garden. I’d love to hear from you. Be sure to leave a comment.