Plants in our Pollinator Garden

The Pollinator Garden at our nursery, showing Zinnias, Pentas, Joe Pye Weed, Cleome, and Verbena bonariensis.

All pollinating insects, not just honeybees, are important for gardens and farms. We celebrate pollinators every year with a display border at the nursery, chock full of annuals and perennials that provide food for hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, bees, and even the occasional fly, wasp, or beetle. The annuals come on quickly and flower exuberantly for months (our favorites are Agastache Acalpulco® Salmon & Pink, Cleome 'Rose Queen,' and Gomphrena 'QIS Carmine'), while the perennials (Asclepias, Eupatorium 'Baby Joe,' Liatris, Monarda 'Jacob Cline,' and Solidago 'Fireworks') build up gradually to their respective peaks. Judging from the number of insect visitors, this garden is a clear success each year. At the end of the season, we say goodbye to the annuals, opening up room for the next year's class, and then plant spring bulbs around the perennials. The pollinator garden is designed to keep changing, and you can follow its progress in photos on Facebook. There's a plant list below to help you get started with your own version. Please note: While we may use particular varieties, others will work equally well to draw in winged visitors.

The Pollinator Garden Plant List

Annuals in Zone 5:

Cleome hassleriana 'Rose Queen' (Cleome)

Cleome Senorita Rosalita® (Spider Flower)

Gomphrena haagena 'QIS Carmine' (Globe Amaranth)

Heliotropium arborescens 'Fragrant Delight' (Heliotrope)

Lantana Landmark™ Rose Sunrise (Lantana)

Pentas lanceolata 'Ruby Glow' (Star Cluster)

Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun' (Black-eyed Susan; may overwinter)

Tithonia rotundifolia 'Fiesta del Sol' (Mexican Sunflower)

Verbena bonariensis (Verbena)

Zinnia 'Profusion Orange'

Zinnia Zahara® Fire (Zinnia)

Zinnia 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' (Zinnia)

Perennials in Zone 5:

Agastache Acapulco® Salmon & Pink (Hummingbird Mint)

Asclepias incarnata 'Cinderella' (Swamp Milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)

Asclepias tuberosa 'Hello Yellow' (Butterfly Weed)

Echinacea PowWow® Wild Berry (Purple Coneflower)

Eupatorium dubium 'Baby Joe' (Joe Pye Weed)

Liatris spicata 'Floristan Violet' (Gayfeather)

Liatris spicata 'Kobold' (Gayfeather)

Monarda 'Jacob Cline' (Bee Balm)

Phlox paniculata Candy Store® Coral Creme Drop (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata Candy Store® Grape Lollipop (Garden Phlox)

Solidago 'Fireworks' (Goldenrod)