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. Monarch Magnet Garden Hero Image

    If you plant our Monarch Magnet Perennial Garden, they will come! This brilliant arrangement includes vital Butterfly Weeds that are the growing Monarch’s only food source, as ...

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    Monarch Magnet Pre-Planned Garden Monarch Magnet Pre-Planned Garden
    $153.32 Sale $130.99
    Per Garden of 18
    If you plant our Monarch Magnet Perennial Garden, they will come! This brilliant arrangement includes vital Butterfly Weeds that are the growing Monarch’s only food source, as well as six essential nectar plants favored by the adult butterflies. Attract monarchs and bring a vibrant dose of color and beauty to your yard. This Pre-Planned Garden comes with a garden layout map to make planting easy.
  2. 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 $10.65 Sale $9.05
    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
  3. 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, th...

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    Hidcote English Lavender English Lavender Hidcote Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote
    As low as $6.65 Sale $5.65
    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)
  4. Eastern Monarch Refuge Plant Collection

    Our Eastern Monarch Refuge Plant Collection makes it easy to plant beautiful Monarch Butterfly habitat in your garden. Milkweed is the essential host plant for Monarch caterpillars. ...

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    Eastern Monarch Refuge Plant Collection Monarch Refuge Plant Collection for the East
    $79.99 Sale $69.99
    Per Collection of 6
    Our Eastern Monarch Refuge Plant Collection makes it easy to plant beautiful Monarch Butterfly habitat in your garden. Milkweed is the essential host plant for Monarch caterpillars. Joe Pye Weed, Black Eyed Susan, Aster, and Bee Balm offer nectar to adult Monarchs and other pollinators from spring through fall. Resilient native perennials will naturalize, spreading each season to expand the benefit and beauty of your habitat garden.

Spring Flower Bulbs To Attract Butterflies

  1. Kelsey Annie Joy Collarette Dahlia flower with pollinator

    Like a cheerful burst of sunshine, award-winning ‚Kelsey Annie Joy‚ Collarette Dahlias add a splash of color in the garden. The exquisite 4-inch blooms feature a bright o...

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    Kelsey Annie Joy Collarette Dahlia Kelsey Annie Joy Collarette Dahlia Dahlia
    As low as $21.32 Sale $18.12
    Per Bag of 3
    Like a cheerful burst of sunshine, award-winning 'Kelsey Annie Joy' Collarette Dahlias add a splash of color in the garden. The exquisite 4-inch blooms feature a bright orange button center, surrounded by two layers of petals - a collar of frilly pink petals surrounded by an outer halo of broad peach petals. Open flowers attract pollinators! Always lovely, the enchanting color variations and intricate form are even more stunning when illuminated by soft morning light or backlit by late afternoon sun.
  2. Happy Single® Flame Dahlia flower with pollinator

    If you appreciate rich saturated colors, then you’re sure to fall in love with ‚Happy Single® Flame‚ Single Dahlias. Sculptural dark bronze foliage is crowned by 4...

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    Happy Single® Flame Dahlia Happy Single® Flame Dahlia Dahlia
    As low as $21.32 Sale $18.12
    Per Bag of 3
    If you appreciate rich saturated colors, then you’re sure to fall in love with 'Happy Single® Flame' Single Dahlias. Sculptural dark bronze foliage is crowned by 4-inch flowers, showcasing fiery red petals around bright yellow centers. This award-winning single Dahlia features a compact form and striking colorway, making it a coveted addition to colorful gardens and container plantings.
  3. Banana Cream Pie Dahlia Collection

    Treat yourself to our exclusive Banana Cream Pie Dahlia Collection, featuring marvelous blooms in soft and sweet whites and yellows. Layers of sumptuous petals will unfurl in a showc...

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    Banana Cream Pie Dahlia Collection Banana Cream Pie Dahlia Collection Dahlia
    $79.99 Sale $68.99
    Per Collection of 12
    Treat yourself to our exclusive Banana Cream Pie Dahlia Collection, featuring marvelous blooms in soft and sweet whites and yellows. Layers of sumptuous petals will unfurl in a showcase of Anemone, Fimbriata, Cactus, and Dinner Plate flower forms for abundant texture and playfulness. Light and bright, this charming collection will add soft color to the late season perennial border or cutting garden. Bouquets will bring joy to your home or friends. Collection of 12 Dahlias.
  4. Blue Bayou® Anemone Dahlia, Anemone Dahlia Blue Bayou® with butterfly

    ‚Blue Bayou‚ Anemone Dahlia sits firmly in the class of dahlias known as the „powder puffs.„ With an outer row of large, lavender-blue petals surrounding a da...

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    Blue Bayou Anemone Dahlia Blue Bayou Anemone Dahlia Anemone Dahlia Blue Bayou
    $21.32 Sale $18.12
    Per Bag of 3
    'Blue Bayou' Anemone Dahlia sits firmly in the class of dahlias known as the "powder puffs." With an outer row of large, lavender-blue petals surrounding a darker, central cushion of shorter petals, it's easy to see why that is. The heavenly blooms of 'Blue Bayou' are sure to have you smiling every time you step into the garden. (Dahlia)

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. Dalmation Rose Foxglove with pollinator

    This easy-to-grow Foxglove variety is an early-bloomer, adding gorgeous purple color to the late spring garden. Dalmation Rose is deer resistant and makes for gorgeous spring bouquet...

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    Dalmation Rose Foxglove Dalmation Rose Foxglove Digitalis purpurea Dalmation Rose
    $10.65 Sale $9.05
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    This easy-to-grow Foxglove variety is an early-bloomer, adding gorgeous purple color to the late spring garden. Dalmation Rose is deer resistant and makes for gorgeous spring bouquets. (Digitalis purpurea)
  2. Dreamy Meadow Pre-Planned Garden

    Inspired by naturalized meadow-style plantings, our Dreamy Meadow Pre-Planned Garden will catch the golden hour light for year-round visual interest. You’ll be drawn in by a so...

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    Dreamy Meadow Pre-Planned Garden Dreamy Meadow Pre-Planned Garden
    $129.32 Sale $109.99
    Per Garden of 12
    Inspired by naturalized meadow-style plantings, our Dreamy Meadow Pre-Planned Garden will catch the golden hour light for year-round visual interest. You’ll be drawn in by a soft color palette and alluring textures and fragrances. In spring and summer, butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds will flutter from flower to flower. Over fall and winter, grasses and dried flowers will attract birds and add sculptural forms to the landscape. This Pre-Planned Garden comes with a garden layout map to make planting easy.
  3. Pink Bee Balm Pink Lace, Monarda, Bee Balm with hummingbird

    Dwarf Pink Lace grows to only 12-18 inches tall, this Bee Balm gives you large pink flowers on small plants. Hummingbirds love it. PP#18367 (Monarda didyma)...

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    Pink Lace Bee Balm Pink Lace Bee Balm, Bergamot, Oswego Tea Monarda didyma Pink Lace
    $10.65 Sale $9.05
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Dwarf Pink Lace grows to only 12-18 inches tall, this Bee Balm gives you large pink flowers on small plants. Hummingbirds love it. PP#18367 (Monarda didyma)
  4. 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...

    Learn More
    Phenomenal® Lavender Lavender Phenomenal® PP#24193 Lavandula x intermedia Phenomenal PP#24193
    As low as $10.65 Sale $9.05
    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

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. 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...

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    Butterfly and Hummingbird Pre-Planned Garden Butterfly and Hummingbird Pre-Planned Garden
    $199.99 Sale $173.99
    Per Garden of 21
    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. This Pre-Planned Garden comes with a garden layout map to make planting easy.
  2. Prairie Blazing Star, Liatris pycnostachya

    Prairie Blazing Star is a stunning native wildflower with distinctive floral spikes packed with fluffy rose-purple blooms. Flowers open in sequence, starting at the top, for weeks of...

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    Prairie Blazing Star Prairie Blazing Star Liatris pycnostachya
    As low as $13.32 Sale $11.32
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Prairie Blazing Star is a stunning native wildflower with distinctive floral spikes packed with fluffy rose-purple blooms. Flowers open in sequence, starting at the top, for weeks of color during the hottest part of late summer. The tallest Liatris species in cultivation, this pollinator magnet attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and makes an excellent cut flower. Plant for a striking vertical element in your garden or meadow planting. (Liatris pycnostachya)
  3. Jacob Cline Bee Balm, Monarda didyma Jacob Cline 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-shape...

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    Jacob Cline Bee Balm Jacob Cline Bee Balm, Bergamot Monarda didyma Jacob Cline
    As low as $9.32 Sale $7.92
    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)
  4. 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
    $49.32 Sale $42.99
    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.

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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