I have a tiny porch garden without much room, but I still want to help my plants be as productive as possible. Part of keeping them happy is making sure that they get plenty of visits from butterflies, bees, a maybe even hummingbirds. Since space is at a premium, I don’t have the space for more than a few containers of flowers. For maximum pollination, I like to choose flowers that attract many species of pollinators.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of flowers that attract at least two types of pollinators. If you’re short on space or looking to expand your flower garden, these gems are guaranteed to bring more butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to your garden. Don’t have time to read the list? Scroll to the bottom for a handy info graph.
Powerhouse Pollinator Flowers
Aster – Aster is a bright purple perennial that closely resemble daisies. They bloom in late summer and autumn, and can grow as tall as eight feet.
Bee balm – As it’s name suggest, bees love bee balm! A perennial herb, you can use its bright red flowers and leaves in teas and salads. This plant will bloom throughout the summer.
Borage – Borage is another multi use herb. Beside attracting pollinators, the lavender colored flowers can be candied, the leaves have a cucumber flavor. This annual will grown tall through late spring and summer, and will self seed itself for next season.
Cosmos – Don’t be fooled by all the showy varieties of Cosmos. These flowers are tough enough that they thrive even if forgotten. Like borage, cosmos will also self seed itself.
Delphinium – Delphiniums are dark purple and like to grow tall. They are a showy perennial that make an excellent focal point in any garden.
Globe thistle – Unlike the other flowers on this list, globe thistle petals form a tightly packed sphere, much like a dandelion. A perennial, this blue or white flower will bloom into fall, and is useful for dried flower arrangements.
Goldenrod – While many people only see goldenrod as a weed, bees love the bright yellow flowers. Contrary to popular belief, goldenrod does not usually cause allergies.
Lavender – Lavender is well known among herbalists for its delicate scent and taste. Butterflies and bees love it’s soft purple flowers.
Liatris – Tall, with purple, rose, or white flower clusters, Liatris is another perennial that thrives when forgotten. It will bloom into fall with full sunlight.
Lupine – Lupines are members of the pea family. While they aren’t edible, they do have the family ability to fix nitrogen. They come in shades of yellow purple, pink, red, and white, and can be either annuals or perennials.
Nasturtium – Nasturtium’s petals and leaves are delicious in salads. You can even use the seed pods as a caper substitute. They are easy to grow and their blooms range from cream to bright red.
Phlox – Phlox is a low lying flower that comes is many different colors; white, blue, red and pink. It blooms in the spring and summer, and as a perennial will come back to attract more pollinators year after year.
Scabiosa – Also called the pincushion flower, scabiosa are one of butterflies favorite flowers. They are found blooming through early fall in shades of pink, blue, and white.
Sage – While not typical in flower gardens, sage is a powerhouse when it comes to attracting pollinators! This perennial will come back every year and can also be used in the kitchen to flavor foods.
Verbena – Verbena is another tall, hardy plant. It blooms midsummer to first frost and can reach five feet in height.
Zinnia – Zinnias come in almost every shade of the rainbow, so you’re bound to find a color you like! They love hot, sunny weather. Though they are annuals, their seeds are easy to save for future years.
Don’t forget to check out the info-graph I made to see which flowers attract which kinds of pollinator.