Planting For And Identifying Pollinators

by Amanda

One of the most enjoyable aspects of planting a pollinator garden is being able to identify the different butterflies, bees and hummingbirds parading around in spring and summer. To help plan your pollinator garden, we've highlighted a few of our favorite wildflowers, perennials, and flower bulbs that attract pollinators. Plus, you can use these images to identify some of the more common bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds visiting your garden.

1. Identifying Butterflies & Best Flower Varieties For Attracting Butterflies

2. Identifying Bees & Best Flower Varieties For Attracting Bees

3. Identifying Hummingbirds & Best Flower Varieties For Attracting Hummingbirds

Identifying Butterflies

1. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. There are approximately 40 different Swallowtail species in North America and these colorful butterflies are named after the forked appearance of their hind wings.

2. Common Buckeye. This gorgeous butterfly is common throughout the United States, except the Northwest. It prefers open areas with low vegetation.

3. Black Swallowtail. There are approximately 40 different Swallowtail species in North America and these colorful butterflies are named after the forked appearance of their hind wings.

4. Monarch Butterfly. Perhaps one of the most easily identifiable butterflies, the Monarch loves milkweed and is known for its autumn migration from the United States to Mexico.5. 

5. Gulf Fritillary. This lovely orange butterfly can be seen in gardens in warmer areas, but can venture up North occasionally.

6. American Painted Lady. Also known as American Lady, this colorful butterfly can be found throughout North America.

The Best Flower Varieties For Attracting Butterflies To Your Garden

Wildflowers To Attract Butterflies

Perennial Plants To Attract Butterflies

  1. Phenomenal Lavender, Lavandula x intermedia

    Phenomenal Lavender has it all: exceptionally tolerant of both high heat and harsh winter, this easy-to-grow lavender even shows resistance to the effects of humidity. Highly fragran...

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    Phenomenal® Lavender Lavender Phenomenal® PP#24193 Lavandula x intermedia Phenomenal PP#24193
    As low as $13.98 Sale $9.09
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Phenomenal Lavender has it all: exceptionally tolerant of both high heat and harsh winter, this easy-to-grow lavender even shows resistance to the effects of humidity. Highly fragrant with concentrated essential oils, Phenomenal's spikes of purple-blue flowers attract butterflies and bees to the garden. Edible, deer-resistant and fast-growing, this silver-leafed lavender has left all other new introductions in the dust! (Lavandula x intermedia) PP#24193
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  2. Pink Echinacea Magnus, Echinacea purpurea, Coneflower

    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent...

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    Magnus Echinacea Purple Coneflower Magnus Echinacea purpurea Magnus
    As low as $8.98 Sale $5.39
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent stems and flowerheads in place to overwinter will also attract birds. Coneflowers are notably tough native plants and 'Magnus' is no exception, withstanding drought, clay, humidity and harsh winter conditions without complaint. Easy to grow, this plant is a great choice for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. (Echinacea purpurea)
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  3. Butterfly and Hummingbird Pre-Planned Garden Hero

    Butterflies and hummingbirds both rival the complex beauty of flowers - plant attentively and you can have all three! Our Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden takes the guesswork out of at...

    Learn More
    Butterfly and Hummingbird Pre-Planned Garden
    $254.98 Sale $165.74
    Per Garden of 21 Plants
    Butterflies and hummingbirds both rival the complex beauty of flowers - plant attentively and you can have all three! Our Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden takes the guesswork out of attracting these beloved pollinators, with magnetic colors and nectar-rich blooms that work together to provide the perfect habitat.
    Learn More
  4. Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm, Rudbeckia in bloom in perennial garden

    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green f...

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    Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green foliage. Unbothered by most pests, poor soils, drought and humidity, 'Goldsturm' is easygoing and the perfect addition to flower arrangements and pollinator gardens. Deer resistant and long-lasting. (Rudbeckia fulgida)
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Spring Flower Bulbs To Attract Butterflies

  1. Cannasol™ Happy Carmen Canna Lily

    Cannasol Happy Carmen Canna Lily is compact, fiery and full of punch. This canna is a versatile, heat and humidity tolerant addition for borders, containers or ponds edge. Clusters o...

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    CannaSol™ Happy Carmen Canna Lily CannaSol™ Happy Carmen Canna Lily Canna CannaSol™ Happy Carmen
    As low as $22.98 Sale $13.79
    Per Bag of 2
    Cannasol Happy Carmen Canna Lily is compact, fiery and full of punch. This canna is a versatile, heat and humidity tolerant addition for borders, containers or ponds edge. Clusters of red flowers attract hummingbirds, and with deep green tropical foliage thats bred to stay very compact, Cannasol Happy Carmen Canna Lily provides a vertical accent without too much legginess. Full sun moisture lover. Virus-free. (Canna)
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  2. Cannova® Bronze Scarlet Canna Lily in container

    Cannova Bronze Scarlet Canna Lily makes its tropical mark in your garden earlier than most cannas. It blooms in late spring and continues through frost with abundant rich red blossom...

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    Cannova® Bronze Scarlet Canna Lily Cannova® Bronze Scarlet Canna Lily Canna x generalis
    As low as $22.98 Sale $11.49
    Per Plant - 3.5" Pot
    Cannova Bronze Scarlet Canna Lily makes its tropical mark in your garden earlier than most cannas. It blooms in late spring and continues through frost with abundant rich red blossoms held above plum-colored foliage. An easy-care heat tolerant plant. Cannova Bronze Scarlet Canna Lily is a moisture-lover for full to part sun and quickly creates stunning vertical accents in borders or containers. Hummingbird magnet. (Canna x generalis)
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  3. Cafe Au Lait Dinner Plate Dahlia

    'Cafe Au Lait' Dinner Plate Dahlia produces large, buttermilk-colored blooms up to 10 across that blush with pink and hints of barely-there latte brown. As the season progresses and ...

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    Cafe Au Lait Dinner Plate Dahlia Café Au Lait Dinner Plate Dahlia Dinner Plate Dahlia Café Au Lait
    As low as $27.98 Sale $18.19
    Per Bag of 3
    'Cafe Au Lait' Dinner Plate Dahlia produces large, buttermilk-colored blooms up to 10 across that blush with pink and hints of barely-there latte brown. As the season progresses and the flowers mature, expect more delicious color variations to appear. Excellent as a cut flower, 'Cafe Au Lait' is hugely popular in wedding bouquets and arrangements. Prefers full sun. (Dahlia)
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  4. Purple Dinnerplate Dahlia Thomas Edison, Dahlia, Decorative Dinnerplate Dahlia

    'Thomas Edison' Dinner Plate Dahlia produces large, vibrant-purple blooms up to 8 across. With fully double flowers in a unique, electric shade, this dahlia makes a bold statement w...

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    Thomas Edison Dinner Plate Dahlia Thomas Edison Dinner Plate Dahlia Dinner Plate Dahlia Thomas Edison
    As low as $25.98 Sale $12.99
    Per Bag of 3
    'Thomas Edison' Dinner Plate Dahlia produces large, vibrant-purple blooms up to 8 across. With fully double flowers in a unique, electric shade, this dahlia makes a bold statement when planted in groups of 5 or more. Excellent as a cut flower and used in many wedding bouquets and arrangements. (Dahlia)
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Identifying Bees

  1. Western Honey Bee. There are approximately 40 species of Honey Bees. The Western Honey Bee (or European Honey Bee) is the most common species.
  2. Bumble Bee. The Bumble Bee is found mostly in the Northern Hemisphere and there are over 250 species. The soft hair that makes these bees so easily distinguishable (and fuzzy) is called pile.

The Best Flower Varieties For Attracting Bees To Your Garden

Wildflowers To Attract Bees

Perennial Plants To Attract Bees

  1. Pink Echinacea Magnus, Echinacea purpurea, Coneflower

    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent...

    Learn More
    Magnus Echinacea Purple Coneflower Magnus Echinacea purpurea Magnus
    As low as $8.98 Sale $5.39
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent stems and flowerheads in place to overwinter will also attract birds. Coneflowers are notably tough native plants and 'Magnus' is no exception, withstanding drought, clay, humidity and harsh winter conditions without complaint. Easy to grow, this plant is a great choice for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. (Echinacea purpurea)
    Learn More
  2. Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm, Rudbeckia in bloom in perennial garden

    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green f...

    Learn More
    Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green foliage. Unbothered by most pests, poor soils, drought and humidity, 'Goldsturm' is easygoing and the perfect addition to flower arrangements and pollinator gardens. Deer resistant and long-lasting. (Rudbeckia fulgida)
    Learn More
  3. Lavender Munstead, Lavandula angustifolia Close Up

    'Munstead' Lavender is an English Lavender that has fragrant, cool lavender-blue spikes and gray-green, mounded foliage. You can tuck this lavender into your herb garden, but we lov...

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    Munstead English Lavender English Lavender Munstead Lavandula angustifolia Munstead
    As low as $9.98 Sale $6.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Munstead' Lavender is an English Lavender that has fragrant, cool lavender-blue spikes and gray-green, mounded foliage. You can tuck this lavender into your herb garden, but we love it planted with other colorful perennials in borders, planted in a massive swath where it can sway in the breeze, or set in a pot on the patio where you can enjoy its pleasant scent. Excellent in fresh or dried bouquets. (Lavandula angustifolia)
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  4. Hidcote English Lavender

    'Hidcote' is a compact English Lavender that grows only 18-24 inches tall, with highly fragrant, deep purple-blue flowers. Excellent for both fresh and dried bouquets, this lavender ...

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    Hidcote English Lavender English Lavender Hidcote Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote
    As low as $9.98 Sale $7.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Hidcote' is a compact English Lavender that grows only 18-24 inches tall, with highly fragrant, deep purple-blue flowers. Excellent for both fresh and dried bouquets, this lavender attracts bees and butterflies but repels deer and rabbits. Perfect for hot, dry sites and drought tolerant once established. Great choice for container plantings. (Lavandula angustifolia)
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Identifying Hummingbirds

1. Broad-Tailed Hummingbird. This small Hummingbird is extremely adaptable and can be found in a range of habitats. The Broad-Tailed Hummingbird migrates to Mexico for the winter.

2. Black-Chinned Hummingbird. This gorgeous butterfly is common throughout the United States, except the Northwest. It prefers open areas with low vegetation.

3. Rufous Hummingbird. This delightfully colorful Hummingbird is a smaller species and is known to nest in Northern areas all the way up in to Alaska, often staying on the West Coast of the country.

4. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. A woodland dweller often found in forests, this Hummingbird is very territorial and makes its way to Mexico for the winter.

The Best Flower Varieties For Attracting Hummingbirds To Your Garden

Wildflowers To Attract Hummingbirds

Perennial Plants To Attract Hummingbirds

  1. Agastache Tango, Hyssop, Hummingbird Mint

    A long-lasting and vibrant bloomer, 'Tango' Hyssop produces tubular, fiery orange flowers that attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees to the garden. Blooming from early summer in...

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    Tango Hyssop Tango Hyssop, Hummingbird Mint Agastache aurantiaca Tango
    $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    A long-lasting and vibrant bloomer, 'Tango' Hyssop produces tubular, fiery orange flowers that attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees to the garden. Blooming from early summer into fall, 'Tango' is short in stature and a great choice for containers and small space gardens. Fragrant, deer-resistant and water-wise, 'Tango' prefers a spot with plenty of sun. (Agastache aurantiaca)
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  2. Bee Balm Jacob Cline, Monarda

    'Jacob Cline' Monarda is a colorfully vibrant, mildew-resistant variety of the cherished Bee Balm plant. Loved by both gardeners and hummingbirds, crimson red crown-shaped blooms app...

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    Jacob Cline Bee Balm Jacob Cline Bee Balm, Bergamot Monarda didyma Jacob Cline
    As low as $13.98 Sale $10.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Jacob Cline' Monarda is a colorfully vibrant, mildew-resistant variety of the cherished Bee Balm plant. Loved by both gardeners and hummingbirds, crimson red crown-shaped blooms appear on tall, herbaceous plants in mid summer. Its fragrant foliage and tolerance of pests, mildew and clay soils make 'Jacob Cline' a true favorite in the perennial bed. Deer resistant. (Monarda)
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  3. Soulmate Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata

    'Soulmate' Swamp Milkweed is an essential North American native that provides vital food for developing Monarch butterflies. Cherry pink flowers with white centers emanate a sweet va...

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    Soulmate Swamp Milkweed Swamp Milkweed Soulmate Asclepias incarnata Soulmate
    As low as $16.98 Sale $8.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Soulmate' Swamp Milkweed is an essential North American native that provides vital food for developing Monarch butterflies. Cherry pink flowers with white centers emanate a sweet vanilla fragrance that calls in countless other pollinators. Beyond its beautiful color and sweet scent, this compact milkweed tolerates moist soils and is a great choice for small-space gardens. Deer resistant. (Asclepias incarnata)
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  4. Butterfly and Hummingbird Pre-Planned Garden Hero

    Butterflies and hummingbirds both rival the complex beauty of flowers - plant attentively and you can have all three! Our Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden takes the guesswork out of at...

    Learn More
    Butterfly and Hummingbird Pre-Planned Garden
    $254.98 Sale $165.74
    Per Garden of 21 Plants
    Butterflies and hummingbirds both rival the complex beauty of flowers - plant attentively and you can have all three! Our Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden takes the guesswork out of attracting these beloved pollinators, with magnetic colors and nectar-rich blooms that work together to provide the perfect habitat.
    Learn More

Whether you're planting in containers on a balcony or have a lot of land to work with, there are endless options to help our disappearing pollinator population through gardening.

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