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. Orange Butterfly Weed With Monarch Butterfly, Asclepias tuberosa

    Butterfly Weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that's a staple in every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow, cold hardy, and does well in poor, dry soi...

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    Butterfly Weed Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa
    As low as $14.98 Sale $8.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Butterfly Weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that's a staple in every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow, cold hardy, and does well in poor, dry soils. Long-lasting clusters of small, flat-topped flowers are crowned with a yellow, sun-kissed "corona" and bloom from June through August. Butterfly Weed is an important nectar source for Monarch butterflies and its leaves provide essential food for developing Monarch caterpillars - but expect to see a variety of pollinators making use of this plant. Please note the Bag of 3 are bareroots. (Asclepias tuberosa)
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  2. White Shasta Daisy Becky, Leucanthemum superbum

    Becky gives you classic white daisies with wider petals and brilliant centers. Perennial plant of the year in 2003. (Leucanthemum superbum)...

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    Becky Shasta Daisy Becky Shasta Daisy Leucanthemum superbum Becky
    As low as $9.98 Sale $7.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Becky gives you classic white daisies with wider petals and brilliant centers. Perennial plant of the year in 2003. (Leucanthemum superbum)
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  3. Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection

    Give bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds what they need with our Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection. Compact varieties of Butterfly Weed, Bee Balm, and Salvia are ideal for...

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    Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection
    $39.98 Sale $25.99
    Per Collection of 3
    Give bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds what they need with our Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection. Compact varieties of Butterfly Weed, Bee Balm, and Salvia are ideal for small-space gardens and patio planters, supplying a consistent supply of nectar. A mix of popular, easy-to-grow perennials, these showy pollinator plants will delight with bright colors for years to come. Collection of 3 plants.
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  4. 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 $9.98 Sale $7.99
    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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Spring Flower Bulbs To Attract Butterflies

  1. Orange Tiger Lily with a swallowtail butterfly

    With fiery orange petals dotted with burgundy-black, the Orange Tiger Lily has been a garden staple throughout the country for many years. It's extremely easy to grow, adding drama a...

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    Orange Tiger Lily Bulbs Orange Tiger Lily Lilium lancifolium Orange
    $16.98 Sale $12.99
    Per Bag of 3
    With fiery orange petals dotted with burgundy-black, the Orange Tiger Lily has been a garden staple throughout the country for many years. It's extremely easy to grow, adding drama and fragrance to beds and bouquets with its vibrant, 3" blooms. A great choice for moist and poor soils. (Lilium)
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  2. Evening Glow Dahlia Collection

    Like the glowing embers of a campfire or the light of a summer sunset, the fiery hues featured in our Evening Glow Dahlia Collection are an invitation to pause, linger, and gaze in y...

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    Evening Glow Dahlia Collection Evening Glow Dahlia Collection Dahlia
    $103.98 Sale $69.99
    Per Collection of 12
    Like the glowing embers of a campfire or the light of a summer sunset, the fiery hues featured in our Evening Glow Dahlia Collection are an invitation to pause, linger, and gaze in your garden. These flowers feature mesmerizing coral pinks, warm orange, glowing yellow, and faint purple accents and a variety of flower forms. This collection is the perfect mix to add drama to flower gardens and arrangements, with an abundant array of flowers from summer until frost. Collection of 12 tubers.
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  3. Crocosmia Emily Mckenzie

    'Emily McKenzie' Crocosmia is a versatile, showy plant that boasts unique, bi-color blooms in fiery shades of red and orange. A low-fuss bloomer after its been established, this capt...

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    Emily Mckenzie Crocosmia Emily Mckenzie Montbretia, Sword Lily Crocosmia crocosmiiflora Emily Mckenzie
    $14.98 Sale $9.99
    Per Bag of 10
    'Emily McKenzie' Crocosmia is a versatile, showy plant that boasts unique, bi-color blooms in fiery shades of red and orange. A low-fuss bloomer after its been established, this captivating beauty thrives in full sun to partial shade and is deer resistant. (Crocosmia)
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  4. Ixia, Wand Flower in Rainbow of colors

    Ixia, also known as Wand Flower, produces tall spikes of star-like blooms in shades of pink, yellow, and white, all opening to reveal center eyes in contrasting colors. Perfect for a...

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    Ixia Mix Wand Flower, Corn Lily Mix Ixia Mix
    $16.98 Sale $12.99
    Per Bag of 25
    Ixia, also known as Wand Flower, produces tall spikes of star-like blooms in shades of pink, yellow, and white, all opening to reveal center eyes in contrasting colors. Perfect for any hot, sunny spot in the garden, Ixia is best suited to warmer climates (zones 8-10) and blooms in late spring. Considered an annual in colder zones, where it should be planted in the spring and lifted in the fall. (Ixia)
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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. 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 $9.99
    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. Orange Butterfly Weed With Monarch Butterfly, Asclepias tuberosa

    Butterfly Weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that's a staple in every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow, cold hardy, and does well in poor, dry soi...

    Learn More
    Butterfly Weed Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa
    As low as $14.98 Sale $8.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Butterfly Weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that's a staple in every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow, cold hardy, and does well in poor, dry soils. Long-lasting clusters of small, flat-topped flowers are crowned with a yellow, sun-kissed "corona" and bloom from June through August. Butterfly Weed is an important nectar source for Monarch butterflies and its leaves provide essential food for developing Monarch caterpillars - but expect to see a variety of pollinators making use of this plant. Please note the Bag of 3 are bareroots. (Asclepias tuberosa)
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  3. Long Blooming Lavender Collection

    The Long Blooming Lavender Collection includes 5 lavender plants that bring a graceful bouquet of aroma to sunny areas. Includes fragrant 'Munstead,' compact 'SuperBlue,' humidity-t...

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    Long Blooming Lavender Collection Long Blooming Lavender Collection Lavandula
    As low as $63.98 Sale $45.99
    Per Collection of 5
    The Long Blooming Lavender Collection includes 5 lavender plants that bring a graceful bouquet of aroma to sunny areas. Includes fragrant 'Munstead,' compact 'SuperBlue,' humidity-tolerant 'Phenomenal', intensely fragrant "Grosso', and pollinator attracting 'Hidcote.' All prefer fast-draining soils, so choose pots with bottom holes and allow plants to dry out between waterings. (Lavandula)
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  4. Nodding Onion with whimsical purple star-shaped flowers, Allium cernuum

    Nodding Onions add whimsical texture and soft pink-to-lilac color to the summer garden. Loose umbels of star-shaped flowers face downward, where you’re sure to find a visiting bumb...

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    Nodding Onion (Allium) Nodding Onion Allium cernuum
    As low as $17.98 Sale $8.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Nodding Onions add whimsical texture and soft pink-to-lilac color to the summer garden. Loose umbels of star-shaped flowers face downward, where you’re sure to find a visiting bumblebee. These easy-to-grow, deer resistant flowers will add a layer of detail to any garden design, including border edges, meadow-style gardens, or containers. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love the native flowers! (Allium cernuum)
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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. Jacob Cline Bee Balm with Hummingbird

    '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 $9.99
    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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  2. Honeysuckle Vine Major Wheeler, Lonicera sempervirens

    Fast growing 'Major Wheeler' Honeysuckle's blooms are true red and plentiful, appearing with enthusiasm throughout the summer season. This variety is resistant to powdery mildew and ...

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    Major Wheeler Honeysuckle Vine Major Wheeler Honeysuckle Vine Lonicera sempervirens Major Wheeler
    $19.98 Sale $14.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Fast growing 'Major Wheeler' Honeysuckle's blooms are true red and plentiful, appearing with enthusiasm throughout the summer season. This variety is resistant to powdery mildew and can even hold its own in humid environments, where it still presents fresh-looking foliage to accompany its clusters of tubular flowers. Vining and growing to 8-10' tall, 'Major Wheeler' is a non-aggressive, non-invasive honeysuckle that needs the support of a trellis, cage or fence to wind and wrap itself around. Right at home in containers and tolerant of partial shade, plant this one to attract hummingbirds. (Lonicera sempervirens)
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  3. Mini Hummingbird Hangout Plant Collection

    The bold nectar-rich blooms in our Mini Hummingbird Hangout Plant Collection will have your garden humming all summer long! Compact container-friendly varieties of Penstemon, Kniph...

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    Mini Hummingbird Hangout Plant Collection Mini Hummingbird Hangout Plant Collection
    $59.98 Sale $35.99
    Per Collection of 5
    The bold nectar-rich blooms in our Mini Hummingbird Hangout Plant Collection will have your garden humming all summer long! Compact container-friendly varieties of Penstemon, Kniphofia, Monarda, Salvia, and Agastache offer a riot of lasting color to keep hummingbirds coming back for more. Consider planting near a window or on your patio, where you can watch winged visitors to your garden. Collection of 5 plants.
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  4. Magic Mars Single Hollyhock, Alcea rosea Magic Mars

    'Mars Magic’ Hollyhock bears single, bright red blooms with beautiful yellow centers on tall, stately stalks. Perfect for the garden's back row, blooms appear from bottom to top st...

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    Mars Magic Single Hollyhock Magic Mars Single Hollyhock Alcea rosea Magic Mars
    $11.98 Sale $5.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Mars Magic’ Hollyhock bears single, bright red blooms with beautiful yellow centers on tall, stately stalks. Perfect for the garden's back row, blooms appear from bottom to top starting in mid summer. Very attractive to hummingbirds, this single hollyhock is a true perennial, coming back to share its blooms year after year. (Alcea rosea)
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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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