10 Plants For Bees and Other Pollinators

Try some or all of these bee friendly plants and flowers in your yard to encourage pollination.

For plants specific to your growing region, check the USDA database at plants.usda.gov or ask at your local nursery.

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Phlox

Phlox

Paniculata, Zones 3 to 9

This hardy native perennial has fragrant, blue-pink blooms in mid to late summer.

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Cardinal flower

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia, Zones 3 to 9

A native perennial that grows up to 3 feet, it has showy red blooms in mid- to late summer and into fall.

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Aster

Aster

Aster, Zones 4 to 9

The aster is a late fall plant that’s important for pre-hibernation bumblebee queens. Blue, lavender, pink or white flowers look lovely as ground cover, along borders or in containers.

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Coneflower

Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3 to 8

This native wildflower is simple to grow and has masses of tall purple blooms. Recent cultivars come in other colors, but stick with natives for the most nectar value.

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Joe Pye weed

Joe Pye Weed

Eupatorium purpureum, Zones 3 to 9

Primarily known as a butterfly plant, this perennial also attracts bees with its fragrant pink-purple blooms. It prefers moist soil where it can shoot up to 9 feet tall.

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Blazing star

Blazing Star

Liatris, Zones 3 to 9

These purple or white beauties support a broad community of butterflies, including monarchs, swallowtails, skippers and sulphurs. They grow up to 3 feet tall.

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Sunflower

Sunflower

Helianthus, annual Sunflowers are a favorite of many bee species. Easy to establish and tolerant of most soils, sunflowers can grow almost anywhere.

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Goldenrod

Goldenrod

Solidago, Zones 3 to 10

With its feathery yellow blossoms, goldenrod provides late-season forage for honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies, beneficial wasps, soldier beetles and more.

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Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia, Zones 3 to 10

Its bright yellow blooms and dark brown centers offer a cheery spot for bees and other insects. Some varieties feature orange and red petals or bicolored blooms.

CAROL L. EDWARDS
Bee balm

Bee Balm

Monarda, Zones 3 to 10

Bee balm is a vigorous native that boasts fragrant purple, pink, red or white flowers. Despite its name, it also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Crystal Rennicke
Crystal Rennicke is a writer from Wisconsin. She is fascinated by the journey of the monarch and her bucket list includes a trip to their wintering grounds in Mexico.