Top 10 Pollinator Friendly Plants

It’s a Pollinator Palooza at McDonald Garden Center! This week, June 20th - 26th, 2022, is National Pollinator Week. This week is one of the most important of the year, as it supports our local pollinators and their ecosystems. This year, during our Pollinator Palooza event, we are rounding up the best of the best plants for our favorite pollinators. Check out these Top 10 pollinator-friendly plants to put in your garden!

10. Parsley & Dill 

These herbs are definitely winners when it comes to pollinating. Both parsley & dill are popularly used by swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs. Next time you’re in your herb garden, check out the leaves to see if there are any little white dots on them; these are butterfly eggs! Keep them in a habitat and watch them grow into beautiful swallowtail butterflies. 

9. Pentas

Pentas are a great pollinator plant because they come in a variety of colors. Pollinators are attracted to their many tiny blooms, much like lantana, which are rich with nectar. When you have pentas in your garden, you are sure to attract pollinators. 

8. Catmint

Catmint is an aromatic herb and a lovely plant for pollinators. It produces clusters of lavender-blue flowers that bees just love! Catmint also makes a soothing tea that has notes of minty sweetness, so this herb can be enjoyed by pollinators and people alike. 

7. Petunias

Petunias are sun-loving annuals that bloom spring through summer. You can find petunias in just about every color, making them very attractive to pollinators. Their trumpet-shaped flowers make them easy for hummingbirds and butterflies to access, and their trailing growing habit makes them perfect for your porch or patio. Hang a petunia basket on your porch and just wait for the pollinator visitors!

6. Bee Balm

Monarda, also known as Bee Balm, is a huge hit with pollinators. This plant prefers a sunny spot with moist, but well-drained soil. Bee Balm attracts butterflies and bees and is also a hummingbird favorite. This plant’s height and movement make it a beautiful perennial addition to any pollinator garden!   

5. Coneflowers

As a famed favorite here at the garden center, coneflowers are notorious for their electrifying color as well as being a preferred pollinator plant. This bloom is a tough perennial and will come back every year to attract pollinators to your garden. 

4. Salvia

Also known as the sage plant, salvia is a wonderful pollinator plant. There are many varieties of salvia, as they come in so many shapes and sizes. However, you usually see this plant with long stalks of dark, fragrant, periwinkle blooms. Bees are known to adore these plants, making them a bee-loved plant in our top 10 list. 

3. Butterfly Bush

This shrub is a staple to have in your pollinator garden. The butterfly bush or Buddleja is beloved by butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds alike! These purple, cone-shaped bloom clusters are loaded with nectar that pollinators just can’t get enough of. Plant this shrub in a sunny spot and just wait for the pollinators to come flying over to your garden. 

2. Lantana

This bunch of blooms is a reliable and long-time butterfly favorite. The bright colors of pinks, oranges, and yellows draw pollinators in and the sweet nectar they provide keeps them coming! Lantana grows erratically during the entire warm season, making them perfect for porch pots and hanging baskets. 

1. Milkweed 

This plant is our #1 pollinator plant because it is both a nectar and host plant for our beloved monarch butterflies! Monarch butterflies use this plant to lay their eggs, which then hatch as caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars' only food source is milkweed, so they will eat this plant until they turn into a chrysalis and, eventually, a butterfly. Milkweed comes in a variety of types from swamp to tropical. Use this plant to raise your own monarch butterflies and enjoy the process!

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