We all know that we need pollinators and we all know pollinators need us, but do we all know which perennials are best? I have compiled a list of perennials that pollinators are extremely fond of and can be found right here at Treasured Roots!
Salvia- I have great luck with Salvia attracting hummingbirds. One morning a hummingbird was almost unlucky as I was gardening with a podcast streaming in my headphones and I felt something behind me: I spun around fists up and almost gave the hummingbird a black eye! Luckily no pollinators were harmed during that morning watering. Salvia come in rosy pink to blue nectar rich blooms; these sun loving plants come in annual 4 packs to gallon perennials to hanging baskets.
Asclepias- Butterfly weed is a crucial plant to complete a butterfly garden. The caterpillars rely solely on milkweed leaves to feed. Their flowers are nectar rich for butterflies and other pollinators and beneficial insects. Not to mention Butterfly weed is low maintenance, fragrant, disease free, and deer resistant.
Lavandula- Lavender, with it’s silver green foliage to it’s bluish purple blooms, is a favorite in a cottage style garden. It is also a favorite of pollinators, most of all honeybees. Plant a few in a mass planting, enjoy the wafting fragrance, and the pollinators dancing from bloom to bloom.
Rudbeckia- Black-Eyed Susans, from yellow Goldsturm to red Cherry Brandy, Black-Eyed Susans attract bees and butterflies. Not only that, but they are super easy to grow and are a must in a sunny garden bed.
Liatris- Blazing Stars is a long blooming perennial and a must to attract monarchs and swallowtails to your garden. Native to eastern North America you can find these growing as prairie plants in full sun. The blooms resemble a bottle brush opening at the top of the spike then in succession down it’s tall stalk.
Kniphofia is definitely a conversation starter! Better known as Red Hot Pokers, they have tall spikes that hummingbirds can’t pass up; blades of blue-green clumped foliage with spikes of coral red and yellow.
Echinacea- Coneflowers are a go to for me in any sunny garden, they are easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey. Did you know they even come in a lemon? Sombrero Lemon, to Sunseeker Rainbow, but to me you can never go wrong with Wildberry.
Nepeta- Catnip is a favorite of pollinators, but also a favorite of Valentino, our shop cat! When these come in we have to find a high shelf or we will find them flattened with a fluffy cat laying on top! Bees benefit greatly from the blooms of the blue-purple tones of catnip; these grow great in full sun and dry soils.
Monarda- Bee Balm- Their unique firework shaped blooms come in pinks, purples, and reds and is a magnet for pollinators most of all, you guessed it: bees! Easy to grow, rabbit resistant, long bloom time, but best of all, they smell amazing! Their mixed aroma of citrus and mint is refreshing.
Penstemon- Beardtongue, from vibrant red blooms of the Red riding hood, to Lavender blooms and deep purple foliage of the Dakota burgundy, all are a great choice to attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies to your garden.
Phlox- Tall or creeping, pollinators love them all! Phlox's fragrant blooms range in colors from white to red to blue. Create a cottage garden with tall phlox, creeping phlox for the borders and rock gardens, or choose annual phlox blooms to trail out of your containers.
Coreopsis- Tickseed has different shades of daisy-like nectar and pollen rich blooms covering their pillow of fine textured soft leaves. Use head shears after flowering is done to cut the top 1/3 of the plant to increase new growth and more blooms!
Whether your garden is big or little you can still make a big impact for our pollinators by planting the right mix.