Creating a Pollinator Garden: Top Plants to Entice Pollinators

Almost every plant that grows in the ground can thrive in a container garden and attract valuable pollinating friends like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.

Considerations for Container Planting

  • Use high-quality potting soil and fertilize as often as possible. You can also easily add worm castings and other natural fertilizers to your potted plants to make them thrive.
  • Plants that require the same amount of sunlight and water should be grouped in a container. For example, drought-tolerant rosemary won’t thrive in a container that contains water-loving mint.
  • Regular watering is essential. Most plants need to be watered once a day; however, don’t worry if it gets hot and you find yourself watering the same plant multiple times a day.

Pollinator-Attracting Flower Characteristics

Ensure that your container garden is getting enough pollen by planting pollinator-attracting flowers.

  • Color: Different flowers are preferred by different pollinators. Blue, purple and yellow are the preferred colors for bees, while butterflies prefer yellow and white. Moths also prefer white or other pale-hued flowers to fit their nocturnal needs. Are you looking to attract hummingbirds? Planting red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple can help bring hummingbirds to you.
  • Shape – There are many flower shapes available, including bell, tubular, brush, bowl, bunched, lipped florets, and fluffy catkins. You can search the internet for pollinator-specific information to determine which insects prefer which shape to fulfill your garden’s needs.
  • Scent – Highly scented plants let bees know they are available for business. Because they are less sensitive to olfactory stimuli, butterflies are more attracted to color and scent than fragrance.

Pollinating Plants


  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Yarrow
  • Calendula
  • Chives
  • Bronze fennel


  • Purple coneflower
  • Milkweed
  • The butterfly bush
  • Salvia
  • Cuphea
  • Bee balm
  • Lantana
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Coreopsis



  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Tomatoes for patio
  • Squash
  • Beans on a trellis (or “teepee”) structure with poles



  • Nasturtium
  • Poppies
  • Button for Bachelor
  • Nicotiana
  • Sunflowers
  • Celosia

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