Top 5 Plants for Attracting Pollinators
With spring just around the corner, it's time to start sprucing up the yard. If you’re anything like me, you may find yourself wanting to add a few new plants to the landscape; something fun or colorful! Let me encourage you to consider adding pollinator-friendly plants.
Pollinators are very important for crop production, without them, our ecosystems would greatly suffer. As a landscape designer, I like to include pollinator-friendly plants in my designs whenever possible. I want to share my favorite plants for attracting pollinators.
Lantana: One of my all-time favorite plants for attracting pollinators is Lantana. Its bright color and sweet nectar attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. This plant is valued for its unique cluster of blooms that last from spring until the first frost. It's cold-hardy and available in multiple different colors. One of my favorite varieties is the New Gold Lantana, which boasts bright yellow blooms. I like to plant Lantana in the front layer of flower beds, its mounding form looks great against edging.
Esperanza: Another great pollinator friendly plant is Esperanza. This shrub is cold hardy and can reach heights of 15-30 ft. tall! Its trumpet-shaped blooms are attractive to pollinators, and hummingbirds specifically find their nectar easy to access. The yellow blooms last from spring until the first frost. This is an excellent plant for adding height to the landscape.
Salvia: Its colorful, spiky blooms make Salvia a main attractor for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Salvia is very aromatic and rich in nectar making it a hot spot for pollinators. Salvia blooms late spring through fall; and if blooming slows, you can cut off old blooms to promote new blooming. There are several varieties of salvia that are Texas Superstars, plants that have undergone extensive testing and thrived in environments with little water and care. They are a great option for adding low-maintenance color to your landscape.
Agapanthus: This low-maintenance plant is a joy to have in the garden! Agapanthus is native to South Africa and is drought & heat tolerant. This plant is valued for its cluster of blue blooms atop tall green stems. Its bell-shaped blooms are a nectar haven for hummingbirds and bees. Agapanthus looks great in mass plantings, small clusters, or in rows. And of course, Agapanthus makes beautiful cut flowers!
Firebush: If you’re looking for a unique plant to attract pollinators, look no further! Firebush is a woody perennial that attracts birds, bees, and hummingbirds with its red-orange tubular blooms. Generally, firebush gets to be 4-5 ft. tall and has a mounding form; It also adapts to many different soil types. It is a Texas Superstar, and is extremely drought tolerant, making it an excellent plant for xeriscape landscapes.
Adding a few of these plants to your yard this spring will add a pop of color and attract beneficial pollinators. These plants are each unique, with different types of blooms and foliage; which is a great way to add interest to your landscape. Instead of just sprucing up the yard, be part of the solution to disappearing pollinators and plant pollinator-friendly plants. Maybe you want to take this one step further and create a pollinator garden! Pollinator gardens are fun and easy to do. When creating a pollinator garden it is important to remember variety is key. Color is also important; the more the better! And of course, if you need help designing your pollinator garden, please reach out!
About the Author
Jennah is a Texas A&M University graduate with a degree in Urban Planning and Horticulture. She is a Landscape Designer at Landmark Landscape Group in College Station, TX, where she finds joy in designing outdoor spaces that are both functional and beautiful. She loves working with clients and tailoring designs to fit their specific needs.