Top 10 Plants For Bees and Pollinators

Grow one or several of these flowering bee friendly plants in your yard and garden to encourage many pollinators to visit.

A spicebush swallowtail butterfly lands on a phlox flower.Jane Dlugos


Paniculata, Zones 3 to 9

This hardy native perennial has fragrant, blue-pink blooms in mid to late summer. Discover more super fragrant flowers that pollinators love.

Cardinal flower and hummingbirdCourtesy Laurie Dirkx

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. Check out the top 10 red flowers that attract hummingbirds.

bumblebeeCourtesy Barbara Cornett


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. Asters also attract butterflies.

butterfly on coneflowerCourtesy Kari Thomson


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. Here’s how to grow wildflowers for butterflies.

joe pye weed and swallowtail butterfliesCourtesy Rodger Bovenkerk

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. Check out 6 go-to flowers you should plant in your butterfly garden.

swallowtail butterfly on blazing star flowerCourtesy Karen Scott

Blazing Star

Liatris, Zones 3 to 9

These purple or white beauties support a broad community of butterflies, including monarchs, swallowtails, skippers and sulphurs. Blazing Star grows up to 3 feet tall. Here’s the top 10 purple flowers that attract hummingbirds.

sunflowerCourtesy Brigitta Dimas


Helianthus, annual

Sunflowers are a favorite of many beneficial bee species. Easy to establish and tolerant of most soils, sunflowers can grow almost anywhere. You should also grow sunflowers for birdseed.

monarch on goldenrodCourtesy LIsa Thompson


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. Check out the top 10 fall flowers for a perennial garden.

black-eyed SusanCourtesy Heidi Kelly

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. Discover easy ways you can help the bees.

Bee balm and hummingbirdCourtesy Melissa Brewer

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.