annuals & perennials for pollinators

annuals & perennials for pollinators

Posted by Megan Nichols on Jun 10th 2020

Plant for pollinators! We welcome their visit, and they’re looking for a place to land. 

Give pollinators tasty options and they will visit your garden in abundance.

5 Perennials for Pollinators

Planting perennials ensures a source of food for pollinators for years to come.


A favorite for the shade garden, Astilbe likes part sun to shade and consistently moist soil. Pair with Hostas and Brunnera for added pollinator benefits.


The flat top variety are best (it’s more difficult for pollinators to extract what they need from fluffy tops). Coneflowers come in a variety of colors and pair well with grasses, especially Karl Forester Feather Reed and Prairie Dropseed. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil.


Definitely a favorite of bees, Salvia (also known as Meadow Sage) comes in white, purple, blue shades, and pink. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Pair with Coneflowers.

Bee Balm

With little, tubular flower parts, Bee Balm is a favorite of not just bees, but butterflies and hummingbirds, too, who are specialized to extract nectar and pollen from narrow flower parts.


Low growing and blanketed in pale purple blooms, nepeta has a long bloom time and is extremely low maintenance, drought resistant and salt tolerant. Plant in part-sun to sun.


This late season bloomer is a favorite of many pollinators. Once in bloom, sit back and enjoy the show as several types of bees, butterflies, hover flies, and other pollinators come to visit. Plant in full sun.

5 Annuals for Pollinators

Whether your planting containers, an annual garden bed, or tucking annuals into perennial beds for added color and pollinator attraction, here are good ones to go for.


Zinnias attract a bevy of bees and butterflies. Just a few flowers will ensure a flurry of activity in the garden. Plant in full sun.


Plant Pentas to attract a profusion of pollinators. Clusters of star-shaped flowers are perfect for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, which are specifically suited to extract nectar from the tiny, tubular blooms. Plant in full sun.


There is a color of Calibrachoa to suit any garden or container design. These pretty, easy-to-grow, trailing plants prefer full sun but can handle some light shade, as well. Tubular flowers are especially good for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.


Many annual Salvias are perennial somewhere, but are grown as annuals in our Northern climate. Salvias annual to our area come in blues, purples, and red. Perfect for containers or mass planted in the garden. Plant in full sun.


These bright, colorful flowers will bloom all summer and are especially attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Lantana can handle the heat, is drought tolerant, and won’t melt mid-summer, so plant it in your sunniest location and enjoy the show.

Happy pollinator planting!