5 Plants to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden

5 Plants to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden

What better way to celebrate Earth Day 2024 than planting flowers that attract pollinators in your garden. Why is this important? Pollinators, like butterflies and bees are becoming scarce in many areas due to the loss of habitats. The widespread use of pesticides and lack of nectar-rich flowers means we’re seeing fewer and less pollinators. Fortunately, we can play a role to help bring back the pollinator population by creating pollinator habitats in gardens and commercial landscapes.

Even the smallest plantings can be beneficial. In keeping with the Earth Day  2024 theme, we have compiled a list of flowering plants to attract bees and butterflies to your garden.

monarch butterfly

Aster (Symphyotrichum spp.): This perennial plant is an important late-season food source for pollinators and may also help sustain monarch butterflies during their migration. Aster grows in zones 3-10 and can reach up to 4 feet in height. It can bring a burst of purple, violet-blue, pink, and white flowers to your garden. Bloom time typically runs from August through October.

Bee Balm or Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa): Bees and other pollinators find the pompom-like clusters of tubular lavender, pink, or white flowers irresistible! These attractive perennials can grow in zones 3 – 9 and bloom from June to September.  Plus, according to The Xerces Society  for Invertebrate Conservation, Monarda fistulosa is a valuable nectar plant for monarchs.

Milkweed or Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa): Milkweed is essential to monarch butterflies (it’s the only caterpillar host plant.) Milkweed scarcity plays a significant role in the decline of these beautiful butterflies. Milkweed blooms bright orange to yellow-orange flowers from June through September and these nectar-rich flowers are sure to attract a flock of monarchs and other nectar seekers.

Foothill Penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus): This perennial's blue and purple flowers attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. It blooms from May through July and is an excellent addition to low-water gardens, hillsides, or rocky slopes. Zone: 6-10.

Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lancelota): This native flower is a favorite for bees and other pollinators. It blooms bright yellow flowers from May to July.

Earth Day 2024 falls on Monday, April 20. Of course, there will no doubt be plenty of Earth Day  2024 festivities going on throughout San Diego County. You can click here to find Earth Day 2024 festivities happening near you!

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