Bee Friendly Plants For Shaded Areas: Shade Loving Plants For Pollinators

Bee Friendly Plants For Shaded Areas: Shade Loving Plants For Pollinators

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By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

While much attention these days is paid to the important role that pollinators play in the future of our planet, most plants suggested for these hardworking little pollinators need full sun to develop their flowers. So how do you help pollinators do their job if you have mostly shade in your yard? With the right plants, you can attract pollinators to shade and part shade flower beds. Read on to learn more.

Bee Friendly Plants for Shaded Areas

Generally, bees prefer to buzz around plants in full sun, but there are some shade plants that bees love just as well. Honeybees are usually attracted to yellow, white, blue and purple flowers. Native bees, like the mason bee – who actually pollinates more plants than honey bees, are attracted to fruit tree blossoms and native shrubs and perennials.

Some shade tolerant plants for bees are:

  • Jacob’s ladder
  • Bleeding heart
  • Bee balm
  • Coral bells
  • Hosta
  • Columbine
  • Hellebores
  • Penstemon
  • Viola
  • Bellflowers
  • Trollius
  • Trillium
  • Fuchsia
  • Torenia
  • Clethra
  • Itea
  • Mint
  • Lamium
  • Cranesbill
  • Ligularia

Additional Shade Loving Plants for Pollinators

Besides bees, butterflies and moths also pollinate plants. Butterflies are usually attracted to plants with red, orange, pink or yellow flowers. Most butterflies and moths prefer plants with flat tops that they can land on; however, the hummingbird sphinx moth can flutter around small tube flowers to collect nectar and pollen.

Some part shade to shade loving plants for pollinators like butterflies and moths include:

  • Astilbe
  • Fragaria
  • Mint
  • Balloon flower
  • Yarrow
  • Lemon balm
  • Blue star amsonia
  • Jasmine
  • Verbena
  • Honeysuckle
  • Buddleia
  • Clethra
  • Fothergilla
  • Ligularia
  • Hydrangea

Don’t be discouraged by a little shade. You can still do your part to help pollinators. While bees and butterflies need the warm sun in the morning to dry the dew off their wings, they can oftentimes be found seeking the refuge of shade in the hot afternoon. A large variety of blooms, both sun loving and shade loving, can draw a wide variety of pollinators.

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Read more about Beneficial Garden Friends

Planting for Pollinators



Why do we sell native and naturalized perennials? Native wildflowers, particularly perennials, are perhaps the best source of pollen and nectar for pollinators, in both quantity and quality. Other growth forms, such as native trees, shrubs and vines, as well as many annuals and herbs, can be great additions to extend foraging options.

Selecting plants for pollinators is a rather specific task. The native pollinators of your area have a long evolutionary history tied closely with the native plants of your region and, understandably, have a preference for what they are used to, in some cases, they simply won't visit or can't digest most newcomer or exotic plants. Researchers such as Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home , see our Resources page, are finding that native insects NEED native plants, meaning plants native to your region.

Meanwhile, other researchers, like Annie White, a graduate of the University of Vermont, (who had a research plot on our farm, lucky us!) was trying to determine if cultivars of native plants, human-manipulated plant species that have, say double flowers, stronger colors or more compact growth, could be just as appealing to the local insects. Cultivars are generally identified in single quotations after the species name such as Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus', 'Magnus' being a cultivar of the native purple coneflower. It sounds like there MAY be some cultivars that will satisfy the pollinators, but mostly they would rather you stuck to those true native plants.

I say, hey, we humans can adjust OUR aesthetic, and learn to love the maybe less showy true native plants and, in exchange, enjoy the incredible dance of the native pollinators and the satisfaction in knowing we are keeping our landscape ALIVE!!

Ideally, you would be selecting native wildflowers from seeds collected from a nearby source. We, at Northeast Pollinator Plants, are getting there, each year increasing our production from seeds that have been wild collected from our region.

If you are a willing seed-collector of species we are offering, and in the New England and New York states region, please let me know!! We have developed a website to encourage wild seed collectors, please take a look:

But how about the non-native, and oh so valuable, honeybees and their beekeepers? The pollinator plants offered here will be big hits with the honeybees, while attracting more native bees will make them more efficient foragers.


An ideal pollinator garden should offer constant and overlapping flowering of native wildflowers from early spring to late fall. To do this, Xerces Society suggests selecting:

At least 9 species of wildflowers with 3 early-flowering, 3 mid-flowering and 3 late-flowering, offering a variety of flower colors, shapes and sizes to appeal to a diversity of native pollinators AND,

Add at least 1 native grass for nesting sites and material, AND

Plant in swaths of 8 of each species for more efficient foraging.

Using these guidelines, we have created several Pollinator Garden mixes for varying sun/shade and soil conditions. Selecting the "84 Plants" garden collections will get you closest to the guideline, giving you 8 plants each of 10 flowering species plus 4 plants of 1 native grass species. You may also make your own collection or enhance your existing garden by selecting from the list of individual plant species.

Every little bit can help! Don't fret if you don't have the space or budget for meeting the guidelines suggested above, but plant what you can and know you are part of the solution.


You may have noticed already, we describe our plants in the Uses description as either "Garden" plants or "Naturalizing" plants".

"Garden" plants tend to be well-behaved and long-lasting and generally should be just fine in a garden setting. A note of caution though, these ARE wild flowers, so the Garden category is a relative term. You will find that some that are called Garden plants will still do a bit of reseeding and require a tad bit of weeding out each year. While others, like Echinacea purpurea, the beloved purple coneflower, can be frustratingly short-lived, but such a sweet plant we keep it in the Garden plants category.

"Naturalizing"plants, on the other hand, are ones that are more at the other end of the spectrum, being more short-lived but rather rambunctious in reseeding or spreading through rhizomatic roots, or both. These plants are more suited to a cottage garden or meadow situation, where the gardener allows the plants to spread and reseed as they please, with some gentle editing to keep the more aggressive spreaders from taking more "turf" than their fair share.

The following spreadsheets show the plants offered on Northeast Pollinator Plants as two sheets, Garden plants and Naturalizing plants, with their flowering time and color, which can help you select plants to ensure that you are providing a diversity of flower colors and constant and overlapping flowering times.

I know, the quality of these really important sheets, is not great. If you would like to have the pollinator plant palette emailed to you, please email with your request. See Contact Us below.


If your garden receives 4 or more hours of direct sun, it's safe for plants in the sun/part sun category. If less than 4 hours of direct sun, select plants in the shade/part shade category.

The dry-moist/moist-wet refers to the texture, or size of the particles, of the soil in your garden. Sandy soils have larger particles and tend to be dry while clay soils have tiny particles and tend to hold water longer and are often wet. Loamy soils are in the middle.

To test your soil, grab a small handful and squeeze it to form a ball in your hand. If the soil ball doesn't really hold together when you open your hand, you likely have pretty sandy, dry soils. If the ball holds together, try squeezing the soil out of your hand between your thumb and forefinger to form a ribbon. If you can easily form a ribbon, you likely have clay, wet soils. If the ribbon starts to form but breaks off quickly upon forming, it is likely loamy soil which gives you the most flexibility and can select plants rated for dry-moist or moist-wet soils.


I t's a good idea to plan out your garden before you start planting. You can start by drawing out your plan or simply placing the pots on the prepared bed. We suggest laying out the wildflowers and native grasses about 2' apart, which would be 4 s.f. per plant. Multiply the number of plants you have by 4 and that's how much square foot space you should allow for your pollinator garden.

If you are planting a garden with ground covers plants, plant these plants in between your other pollinator plants/wildflowers that are at 2' apart so that the whole garden is planted essentially with plants 1' apart. See the diagram here with o's for the pollinator plants/wildflowers and x's for the ground covers and g for the native grass.

It can be nice to arrange the plants in swaths of single species for a less chaotic look for us humans and for more efficient foraging for the pollinators, who tend to stick to one species at a time, before moving on to the next. Be sure to create places for you, the humans, to sit and observe the pollinators in action.

Also, you may want to consider pathways in your garden to allow wandering about to observe pollinators in action and to allow maintenance without stepping on your plants. Many of the native wildflowers can get pretty big, so leave at least 6'-8' between plants where you would like the path.


The main goal when clearing an area to be planted to perennials is to turn the soil as little as possible, to avoid bringing weed seeds to the surface.


Bravo!! Replacing lawn with habitat is a win-win. Lawn provides little to no habitat while, according to the EPA, on average, mowing for one hour pollutes as much as driving your car 100 miles. For most folks, that translates your weekend mowing into polluting as much as your weekly commute! My motto: "Lawn only where you REALLY need it!"

Anyway, there are a couple ways to get rid of that lawn. The easiest and quickest, is to rent a sod-cutter and dump that nasty lawn in the compost pile. If you're truly industrious you can do this by hand with a spade or hand sod-cutter. If you're more patient than me, you can also rid yourself of the lawn by "sheet mulching" or "solarization" this will require many months to a year. Web-search those words for plenty of tips on how to do that.

Once the soil is bare, you don't really want to amend the soil much as wildflowers are happiest in the more barren soils of the wild.


If the garden is weed-free, you're ready to plant. Amended soils, in other words, enriched with fertilizers and/or years of compost layering, can sometimes be too rich for wildflowers which tend to be happier in, as stated above, the more barren soils of the wild. Not much you can do to reduce the nutrient level, but let time take its course. Some of the wildflowers may stretch a bit the first couple years. I'll admit, I do tend to add a tiny bit of peat or compost in each planting hole, maybe just out of habit, but feel like it does help hold the moisture while the small plant is getting established.


We grow our plants in biodegradable pots which can be planted directly in the ground. There's no reason to remove the pot from the plant and a good idea not to disturb the roots anymore than you need to. You should, however, push down or peel off the very top edge of the pot to the level of the potting mix, so that the pot won't stick above the ground when you plant. If it did, it could wick dry and cause the plant to dry out too fast.

Plants in biodegradable pots tend to dry out more quickly than in plastic pots so be sure to keep your babies moist while they are waiting to get planted. Before laying out your plants, water them to near saturation and don't let them sit out too long in the hot sun or breeze to dry out.

Once you've got your garden planted, mulching is a choice. The majority of native bees are ground-nesting. Mulch is definitely a deterrent for nesting. If you're planting a garden with ground covers, no need to add mulch but you should hoe your garden weekly for the first season and maybe a bit the next year, depending on when you planted, to reduce weed pressure while the ground cover is taking hold. (My favorite pollinator ground covers are Viola sororias, Common Violet, Prunella vulgaris, Self-Heal, and Fragaria virginiana, Wild Strawberry). if you do mulch your garden and don't have much bare sandy soil around, consider adding a designated bee-nesting-sand-box (18" deep) and make sure you label it clearly. Bee nesting and children's sand boxes are not a pleasant mix.

Keep your newly planted garden watered every day for at least the next two weeks, until those little roots are well established and out there doing the work of seeking out water and nutrients.


First off, let your neighbors and visitors know you have planted a pollinator garden. A great way is to put up a "Pollinator Habitat" sign available from Xerces Society. How about being counted and registering your garden with the Million Pollinator Gardens Challenge.

Your new pollinator garden will need a moderate amount of attention, particularly the first couple years after planting to keep down the weeds while the plants claim their space and to keep in check the bit of reseeding to which some of the species may be prone. If you have mulched your garden, you will likely need to put a fresh layer of mulch the first couple years, until the plants have truly filled in.

A tradition of many gardeners is to "clean up" their perennials in the fall. Some argue this is important to reduce disease issues. Well, sure, if you have a disease issue, that plant should be cut back. BUT, in general, there really is no need to cut back your perennials. The seed heads are valuable wildlife food and the stems and leaf litter are important nesting and overwintering sites for all kinds of critters including many pollinators. If you simply must "clean up" your pollinator garden, (this is your aesthetic, not the bee's, and simply is not necessary), wait until spring, after there have been at least 5 days of day-time temperatures above 50 degrees F. This should allow ample time for any overwintering creatures to have moved on with their lives.

On a related note, leave the leaves, and this is not just in your pollinator garden. As the leaves break down, they are a natural mulch and very important natural fertilizer. In general, they will blow and gather where they can be of most use, under your shrubs and perennials. You can certainly rake up and deposit them where they need to be, if the wind is not aiming where you want them. If you have simply more leaves than you can use, and you have room, try creating a leaf compost area, or donate your leaves to a friend of neighbor who is not rich in this amazing resource.

There should be no need to add any fertilizers (other than the leaves just discussed) and definitely NO pesticides for your pollinator garden. The latter is such an important topic, we'll create a separate heading for it.


While it should be clear you do not want pesticides applied in your pollinator garden, it is important to minimize the use of pesticides in your landscape. As farmers, we understand that some crops simply cannot be grown without pesticides. But there is the decision on whether to even grow that crop and some choices on what pesticides, cultural or biological agents you can employ, to reduce the pest issue while causing the least amount of harm to non-targeted species. We each have a responsibility to choose our crops and plants in our landscapes that minimize the need for harmful maintenance.

Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides that was introduced in the 1980s and have become immensely pervasive in the agriculture, horticulture and landscape maintenance industries. These pesticides are systemic meaning once applied they pervade the entire plant and are expressed in all parts including the pollen.

Many nurseries have made a commitment to not selling plants that have been treated with neonicotinoids, due to their proven harm to pollinators, especially bees. When purchasing plants, ask your nursery or garden center if the plants have been treated with neonicotinoids. It can be a challenge for growers to access plants that have NOT have neonicotinoids applied really, these pesticides are that pervasive. Your asking and not purchasing plants that have been treated with neonicotinoids is a step in activism to protect our pollinators. 


12 Brilliant Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

From flowering shrubs and vines to low-maintenance perennials and annuals, these flowers will produce a color show that beckons hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Hummingbirds are beloved by expert and amateur birders alike for their agile motion and radiant color. Speed and spectacular shades aside, hummingbirds are adored by gardeners for being pollinators, something that helps carry pollen from the male part of a flower (the stamen) to the female part of the same or another flower (the stigma). Pollinators, including butterflies and bees, are responsible for ensuring gardens will have more prolific blooming seasons, which also supports our food supply.

The most important consideration when creating a pollinator garden that will attract hummingbirds is to introduce plantings that are native to your region. Hummingbirds also love water, especially moving water, so consider adding an outdoor fountain to your garden or yard to attract these fantastic fliers.

From there, you'll want to select flowers—from flowering shrubs and flowering vines to plants that grow in the shade—that bloom in brights shades of red, pink, or purple, as hummingbirds rely on color to find food. Look for flowers with lots of nectar and tubular, bell, or conical shapes that accommodate hummingbirds' elongated bills. Here, 12 of our favorite flower varieties for attracting hummingbirds to your garden or yard.

With a long flowering period from spring until first frost, petunias are one of the most popular flowers for gardeners. They require full sun in order to thrive and add nice color to beds, hanging baskets or other containers, and borders. Plant as an annual after the last spring frost.

When it blooms: Spring into fall

Where to plant: Full Sun

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9-11

The beautiful tubular flowers on this fast-growing perennial vine, which bloom in shades of yellow, orange, and red, attract hummingbirds. After they flower, trumpet vines (also called trumpet creeper) produce attractive bean-like seedpods. Prune regularly to keep its growth under control.

When it blooms: Summer into fall

Where to plant: Full sun to partial shade

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

As it name suggests, this flowering shrub is great for attracting butterflies as well as hummingbirds, which are drawn to it due to its high nectar count along with conical-shaped clusters of delicate flowers in bright colors. Butterfly bushes bloom repeatedly from summer into fall and come in a wide array of flower colors, such as pink, purple, red, white, and yellow.

When it blooms: Summer

Where to plant: Full sun

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 10

Also known as Granny's Bonnet, this easy-to-grow perennial provides colorful interest in a garden throughout much of the year. After producing bell-shaped blooms in a variety of shades in the spring, its dark green foliage turns maroon in the fall. Columbine seeds can be sown in spring through summer.

When it blooms: Mid-spring to early summer

Where to plant: partial shade to sun

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8

This low-maintenance, easy-to-grow perennial produces abundant, tubular-shaped flowers. Though each individual bloom only lasts for one day, each stem produces multiple blooms in succession. Plant in spring in an area that receives at least six hours of full sun.

When it blooms: Mid-spring into fall

Where to plant: Full sun

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Capable of growing up to six feet high, foxgloves are known for adding vertical interest and brilliant color in gardens. Their flowers, which appear in clusters of tubular blooms in shades of white, lavender, yellow, pink, red, and purple, may be grown from seed can be toxic to consume, though hummingbirds are attracted to their nectar.

When it blooms: Early summer

Where to plant: Full sun to partial shade

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-10

This short-lived perennial adds romance and height to any garden bed, as they can grown up to nine feet tall. The most common are actually biennials, which complete their life cycles in two years, but there are varieties that behave more like perennials. Hollyhocks' cup-shaped flowers attract butterflies and bees, as well as hummingbirds. Seeds can be sown just before the last frost.

When it blooms: Mid-to-late summer

Where to plant: Full sun

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8

Named for its "leggy" foliage shape and tall, showy blooms, this colorful annual is easy to grow and care for as it seeds prolifically and returns every year. Once established, spider flowers are drought-tolerant. Consider planting in vegetable beds as spider flowers attract hummingbirds and other pollinators, which may deter insects that are harmful to vegetables.

When it blooms: Summer to fall

Where to plant: Full sun to partial shade

USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

Also known as "Busy Lizzie," this flowering annual makes for a colorful bed, window box, or other container plant, and requires moisture and shade. Transfer them after the last spring frost for a vivid harbinger of brighter days to come.

When it blooms: Late spring through first frost

Where to plant: P artial shade

USDA Hardiness Zones: 10-11

Zinnias are some of the easiest annual flowers to grow, producing bright blooms in nearly every shade imaginable. They can grow up to four feet high, and they attract not just hummingbirds but butterflies and other birds as well. After the last threat of frost, zinnia seeds can be sown through the end of June.

When it blooms: Late spring to early fall

Where to plant: Full sun

USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

Also known as wild bergamot, this perennial is native to North America, produces spiky blooms in white, pink, purple, or red, and is an excellent addition in pollinator gardens. Its flowers attract bees and butterflies in addition to hummingbirds, and its seed heads will attract birds during the fall and winter.

When it blooms: Summer

Where to plant: Full sun to partial shade

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Also known as sage, these drought-tolerant perennials are beloved by bees and butterflies, as well as hummingbirds. Thanks to their clusters of spiky, fragrant purple blooms, salvia flowers are best when planted in groups of at least two or three and make excellent additions to beds and borders.

When it blooms: Summer to fall

Where to plant: Full sun

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-11

10 Perennials for Pollinators

Supporting pollinators ranks high among gardeners’ concerns and we agree—we all need to do what we can to provide a beneficial habitat, food and shelter for these critical creatures. Let’s take a look at ten perennials you can grow to provide beauty and sustenance for pollinators in your garden.

COLOR SPIRES ® ‘Violet Riot’ Perennial Salvia (Salvia)
Salvias of all kinds are highly attractive to bees, so expect to hear the consistent humm of these happy pollinators when yours are in bloom. They will be completely consumed with gathering pollen and won’t even look your way when you pass by. Expect to see butterflies and hummingbirds, too, but not deer since they don’t like salvia’s scented foliage. ‘Violet Riot’ salvia blooms prolifically with plump wands of vivid violet blue flowers from late spring to early summer. Find more colors in this series here.

Perennial in zones 3-8. Height: 22”. Full sun. Average to somewhat dry soil.

FRUIT PUNCH ® ‘Classic Coral’ Pinks (Dianthus)
One way to support native bees that forage near the ground is to grow ‘Classic Coral’. Its foliage hugs the ground in a low mound while wiry stems carry bouquets of dreamy coral pink, sweetly fragrant, double flowers in late spring. If you trim the spent flower stalks off when they are all done blooming, you’ll likely see another round of flowers in early fall. Butterflies also feed on this pretty perennial. Deer typically don’t bother to bend so far down to take a bite but rabbits will, so use a repellent if they become an issue in your garden. Find more colors in this series here.

Perennial in zones 4-9. Height: 8-10”. Full sun to part sun. Average to somewhat dry soil.

Sweet Romance ® Lavender (Lavandula)
Bees and butterflies enjoy lavender for many of the same reasons they enjoy salvia. This ornamental herb bears bright violet purple flowers—a color that is easy for bees to spot. Its signature sweet fragrance plays a role in attracting pollinators, too. New flowers pop up all summer long, so there will be plenty for enjoying in the garden and in fresh picked bouquets. Sweet Romance is a petite lavender that fits perfectly in containers and can be used as a colorful edging for flower beds.

Perennial in zones 5-9. Height: 12-18”. Full sun. Average to dry soil.

‘Stand by Me’ Bush Clematis (Clematis)
You may have grown vining clematis before, but this selection grows more like a perennial. You may still want to give it some support from a cage or neighboring plants, but its stems grow upright to form a bushy clump. Bright blue, bell-shaped flowers appear on nodding stems in late spring to early summer followed by silky cream seed heads. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a few more flowers in late summer, too. Butterflies and hummingbirds have no problem dipping their long tongues into the heart of the pendulous flowers to drink their sweet nectar.

Perennial in zones 3-7. Height: 3’. Full sun to part sun. Average, alkaline soil.

‘Cat’s Pajamas’ Catmint (Nepeta)
This best-selling, floriferous perennial is as popular with gardeners as it is with bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. It blooms a couple of weeks earlier than most catmints, which means you’ll have flowers for pollinators beginning in late spring. Give the plant a quick shearing after the first round of bloom and it will reward you with more blooms until fall. This petite catmint is useful to plant around vegetable gardens to attract pollinators and thereby increase your yield. It is both deer and rabbit resistant. Looking for a taller catmint? Try ‘Cat’s Meow’.

Perennial in zones 3-8. Height: 12-14”. Full sun. Average to dry soil.

LAKOTA ™ Fire Coneflower (Echinacea)
Cultivars of our native coneflowers are a mainstay in sunny perennial borders where they bloom for months beginning in early to midsummer. You’ll see all kinds of bees, butterflies and songbirds enjoying this perennial’s blossoms. Large, copper cones provide the perfect landing pads for pollinators coming for a snack or just for a rest. This new variety produces a striking array of hot colored flowers ranging from red to orange to magenta. Its smaller size makes it suitable for containers or near the front of the border. Deer typically leave coneflowers alone but they are a favorite of rabbits, so use a repellent if they become an issue in your garden.

Perennial in zones 4-8. Height: 12-16”. Full sun to part sun. Average to somewhat dry soil.

‘Serendipity’ Ornamental Onion (Allium).
It is rare to walk by ‘Serendipity’ ornamental onion in bloom on a sunny summer day and not find several pollinating bees, butterflies or moths enjoying its nectar. This plant is an absolute pollinator magnet! Its cheerful rosy purple flowers stand like a bouquet of lollipops in the center of the blue-green foliage beginning in midsummer. They add whimsy to cut flower arrangements. Since this is an ornamental herb with onion-scented foliage, deer and rabbits typically steer clear.

Perennial in zones 4-8. Height: 15-20”. Full sun to part sun. Any well-drained soil will do.

‘Tuscan Sun’ False Sunflower (Heliopsis)
Bring life to any dull space in your sunny landscape with this glowing yellow perennial. Its daisy-like blossoms make the perfect perch for butterflies and songbirds which come in for a landing around midsummer to late summer. This cultivar has native roots the species can be found growing in the wild throughout central and eastern North America. It thrives in heavy soils, including clay, and prefers consistent moisture but will tolerate occasional periods of dryness once it is established. Be sure to plant more than one so you’ll have plenty of flowers to cut for fresh bouquets. If you like this plant, you might also like its cousin Tuscan Gold ™ .

Perennial in zones 3-9. Height: 24-36”. Full sun to light shade. Average to moist soil.

‘Pardon My Cerise’ Bee Balm (Monarda)
You guessed it! Bee balm is attractive to bees, but you'll find that butterflies and hummingbirds often get in on the action, too. Its tubular florets are the perfect shape for them to dive in for a drink when the flowers start to open in midsummer. Tall bee balm varieties can be runners in the landscape, but the more petite Pardon My series includes all compact, mounded plants that stay where you plant them. They have strong resistance to powdery mildew and are deer resistant, so there’s no worry about planting a whole bunch of these pollinator favorites.

Perennial in zones 4-8. Height: 14-18”. Full sun to part sun. Average to moist soil.

‘Denim ‘n Lace’ Russian Sage (Perovskia)
In order to have something in bloom all season, make sure to plant a few perennials that flower later. They will keep pollinators well-fed before they make their migration southward. Russian sage starts to show color in midsummer but continues into fall, providing bees and hummingbirds with sustenance for several months. We like ‘Denim ‘n Lace’ because it blooms so prolifically on bushy, upright plants that won’t flop over onto other plants in the garden. It has great drought tolerance, too.

Perennial in zones 4-9. Height: 28-32”. Full sun. Average to dry soil

15 Best Plants That Attract Pollinators to Your Garden

These plants will attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds!

Every day, your garden’s tiniest visitors are hard at work. The lovely little butterflies you see floating by and those always-busy bees are transferring pollen from flower to flower so plants can reproduce to make fruits and seeds. And though you may not have ever thought about it, without our pollinators, there’s no food for any of us. These winged wonders are what keep your vegetable garden thriving! That's why you'll want to check out these plants that attract pollinators, including several spring flowers and more to bring life to your garden.

Unfortunately, in some places, pollinator populations have been affected by misuse of chemicals or habitat destruction. So what's the best thing you can do to help? Plant flowers to make your garden a welcoming place for different kinds of pollinators including bees, moths, wasps, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Make sure to plant in clumps or swaths, rather than one flower here or there, so your visitors will find the wealth. And if you don’t have a big backyard, you can plant them in containers and pots that will also add some variety to your landscaping ideas! Finally, if you’re planting perennial flowers, which come back for many seasons, make sure they’ll survive winters in your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone.

Now that you know why you should add plants that attract pollinators, here are a few great varieties to add to your garden!

Watch the video: 20 Best Shade Perennials - Perennial Flowers for Shade