Want to attract pollinators to your garden? Planting for pollinators doesn’t just fill your garden with beauty — it also provides an essential, and even life-saving, service to pollinators like butterflies and bees. Science and research tell us that the planet’s pollinators are in peril, from habitat loss, pesticide poisoning, climate change and other factors. The good news is that, as gardeners, we have the opportunity to support and restore the pollinator population. Here is a collection of some of our favorite varieties that will have the garden humming with activity, and keep these precious creatures well fed!
Check out our blog post for more information on how to plant a pollinator garden.
A flavorful, citrusy variety that is perhaps the most tender and aromatic basil we’ve tried! This fast growing, heat-tolerant basil provides lemony orange-flavored foliage all summer long. The leaves are smooth in texture, and even the stem is tender enough for raw eating in salad. A popular Chinese variety perfect for Asian and fusion cooking! This delcious herb is hard to find in America.
A dainty and delightful dwarf variety with gorgeous array of sunset colors. Compact and tidy plants reach about 16 inches tall and about as wide. A cottage garden accent or border plant, it also performs well in pots, raised beds and meadows. Versatile and irresistible to pollinators, and provides loads of color that will make your garden really glow this summer!
(Asclepias speciosa) A gorgeous pollinator attractor plant that is host to the monarch butterfly and others. A native milkweed of the Western half of the U.S., this herbaceous perennial will bloom from May to September. The ornamental blooms are like fireworks bursting in lavender to rose colors. This beneficial insect magnet provides food and habitat to the monarch butterfly, and is a larval host to dogbane tiger moth and queen butterfly; the apple clearwing moth is attracted to this plant as well. Plants reach can grow up to 5 feet tall, and spread through rhizomes, coming back each year. It is a native wildflower for any central west and western gardener looking to put out a buffet for loads of beneficial insects.
Calendula is incredibly versatile with boundless culinary, healing, pest-repelling and ornamental properties. We love this new twist on the traditional calendula; soft yellow-pink petals have a surprise cerise color on their backs. This dual color pattern gives the blooms a bold, three-dimensional effect. An excellent companion plant for tomatoes in the garden or containers! Another wonderful selection from plant breeder Frank Morton.