10 Best Flowering Plants to Attract Bees and Other Pollinators to Your Garden

10 Best Flowering Plants to Attract Bees and Other Pollinators to Your Garden

Feb 19th 2024

Choosing plants that attract pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, wasps, and hoverflies, is a crucial gardening component. By planting these flowers, your garden can become a safe place for pollinators, and you can help the local wildlife. One of the best ways to create a beautiful and vibrant garden is to grow flowering plants that attract pollinators. Flower-filled pollinator-friendly gardens are a delight and an essential haven for our valued pollinators.

A pollinator garden not only feeds these pollinators but all the birds who consume them, and the plants that require pollination to produce seeds and fruits can benefit from these flowering plants.

This flowering guide will share the list of 10 Best Flowering Plants to Attract Bees and Other Pollinators to your garden.

1. Lavender

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 to 10

Lavender is an excellent addition to any garden if you want to make it bee-friendly. Since ancient times, lavender has drawn bees to the delicious scent of the fragrant purple flowers. Attracting bees to your garden will naturally pollinate flowers and plants, which is necessary for a healthy garden. Lavender attracts a wide variety of bee species, including honeybees and bumblebees.

This fragrant herb is an excellent food source for bees and a good honey supply from spring to summer. Lavender is an excellent option for gardeners because growing and caring for it is relatively simple. It is also perfect for planting in pots and raised garden beds.

2. Bee Balm

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 to 9

Bee balm, also known as Monarda, is a native North American perennial flowering plant that attracts bees to gardens. The ruffle blooms in attractive pink, red, and purple colors draw a variety of pollinators, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Bee balm is often used in pollinator gardens, cottage borders, and permanent gardens. If planting bee balm, choose a spot that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun daily. Additionally, choose a location where the soil is well-drained.

Bee balm plants grow best in damp, organic-rich soil. However, bee balm has shallow roots and can thrive in as little as 6 inches of garden soil. One of bee balm's most exciting qualities is attracting butterflies. Butterflies love the fragrant and structurally pleasing bee balm flowers. Also, they prefer to land most easily on flowers with a flat surface.

3. Crocus

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8

Crocuses belong to genus Crocus, the Iris family, the Iridaceae subfamily, and the subfamily Crocoideae. These flowering plants are available in various colors, adding beauty to your landscape. The bees love the spring-blooming Crocus, though some varieties also bloom in the autumn.

Bees are especially drawn to crocus blossoms because of their vibrant colors and delicious nectar. Both bees and butterflies are attracted to the blooms by their alluring fragrance.

4. Zinnia

USDA Hardiness Zone: 2 to 11

Zinnia is another beautiful choice for your garden to attract pollinators. The gorgeous zinnia flowers in vivid tones of orange, red, pink, yellow, and green are pleasing to the eyes. Zinnias are adored for their cheery blossoms and are perfect for any garden or landscape because they are available in various colors and shapes.

Zinnias attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators with abundant nectar and pollen. The vibrant blooms are large from July through autumn. Plant a variety of zinnia cultivars to extend the blooming season and give pollinators a steady food supply.

Zinnias bloom throughout the summer and make great-cut flowers. You can collect handfuls of blooms daily and still have an abundance to share with the pollinator population in your area.


USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 to 9

Milkweed plants are the only plants from which monarch caterpillars can get nourishment and where butterflies deposit their eggs. During the past few decades, an increasing amount of milkweed has vanished from the environment, endangering the population of monarch butterflies.

Therefore, adding this gorgeous flowering plant to your backyard garden is recommended. Milkweed has various forms, each with different flowering seasons and pollinator preferences.

For example, native bee species are drawn to orange butterfly milkweed and whorled milkweed, whereas bumblebees are drawn to swamp, familiar, and showy milkweed.

6. Coneflower

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6 to 8

Also known as Echinacea, butterflies love to surround the two-foot-tall flower stalks of this plant and savor a sip of their delicious nectar.

Bees and other smaller helpful insects are drawn to its blooms. Due to their size, these flowers work best in perennial borders next to a vegetable garden. Various stores offer a range of coneflower plants in multiple colors. The blooms of this plant attract bees and other beneficial insects that are smaller in size.

7. Aster

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 to 11

Asters are beautiful flowering plants that cover garden landscapes in stunning star-shaped flowers. Asters are among the few plants that consistently bloom during the cooler months and are easy to grow. These plants require very little upkeep and yield abundant flowers with minimal effort.

The blooms of Aster range from subtle purple and blue to vivid and luminous red. When the other flowers in your yard fade, they will continue to draw a variety of pollinators to your garden. Although asters don't need much fertilizer, they will bloom more consistently if fertilized from spring through summer. For the remainder of the growing season, use a slow-release all-purpose fertilizer once in the spring and summer.

8. Goldenrod

USDA Hardiness Zone: 2 to 8

Everyone knows the plant goldenrod, but nobody appears to be able to identify it. Despite being members of the same genus, Solidago, goldenrods have somewhat distinct appearances. Goldenrod has many health benefits, such as pain and inflammation reduction.

The plant's leaves, blooms, and overall shape can change depending on where you reside. Pollinators flock to its stunning golden blooms, primarily bumble bees but also tiny native bees, flower flies, and butterflies.

9. Sunflower

USDA Hardiness Zone: 2 to 11

Sunflowers are garden showstoppers that attract bees. They come in various forms, from small to enormous giants, so you pick the ones that will fit best in your garden. Sunflowers are a great source of sustenance for native pollinator species since they are high in nectar and pollen.

Large, cheery blooms with vibrant colors, sunflowers are a favorite among flower enthusiasts and gardeners and among the most incredible flowers to plant to draw pollinators.

10. Sweet joe-pye Weed

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8

Joe-Pye weed, or Eutrochium purpureum, is a tall perennial plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. It is recognized for its capacity to draw pollinators such as butterflies to the garden. It was named for Joe Pye, a Native American herbalist who used it to cure fevers and other diseases.

The plant can be grown in slightly acidic to alkaline soil, in full sun to partial shade. The blossoms might be white, pink, or purple, depending on the species. Bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies are drawn to them.

The Bottom Line

Even though pollinators are vital to our ecosystems, we frequently undervalue them. Their absence would prevent thousands of plant species from developing. They are essential in society, the economy, and culture worldwide. These ten gorgeous flowering plants will attract pollinators and beautify your outdoor space.

So, plant these flowers and do your part to preserve pollinators by giving them appropriate habitats and giving up pesticide use in your garden!