Butterflies, bees, moths, and other insects, in addition to animal pollinators like bats and birds, are essential for pollinating flowers and plants. These pollinating species transport pollen from flower to flower, encouraging fertilization and thereby producing fruits and seeds.
But to reap the greatest benefit from these pollinators, you’ll want to make sure to carefully select the types of flowers you grow, to allure them most effectively to your land.
By making sure to plant any of the species below, you’re bound to attract plenty of honey bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to help your fields flourish.
With their pinkish-purple flowers and strong, sweet scent, milkweed is beloved by over 450 different insect species. However, it is best known for producing crucial nutrition for monarch caterpillars, who rely on milkweed to provide the nourishment they need to metamorphose into the gorgeous black-and-orange monarch butterflies we all know and admire.
Sunflowers are commonly grown all across the US, but are native to the central and southern parts of the country and Mexico. Varied species of the Helianthus L. (sunflower) family, including ox-eye sunflower, common sunflower, and swamp sunflower, attract a variety of bee species and beetles, as well as some butterflies.
With its characteristic black center and bright yellow petals, Black-eyed Susans, or Rudbeckia hirta, are one of the most popular wildflowers grown across the country. While they are great for attracting pollinators, they do sometimes tend to overgrow and push out other flowers in their area, so careful planting rates is a must.
True to its name, bee balm attracts a wide range of bee species, as well as butterflies and hummingbirds, to pollinate its flowers. Also known as wild bergamot, this plant is an herbaceous member of the mint family. In addition to attracting insects, bee balm has also been used in teas and medicinal salves for centuries, having received its name from its ability to sooth and heal bee stings.
Purple coneflowers are perhaps the most well-known of the species. But coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, can also been grown in red, orange, pink, white, green, and yellow varieties. Native wildflowers to the eastern US, coneflowers are easy to grow and stunning to view en masse, bringing a bright color palette to your land that can even attract songbirds.
A member of the Sunflower family, goldenrod can be planted in the fall or spring and requires little maintenance. Typically, tall and thin in appearance with a burst of golden spiky flowers at the end, goldenrod is well known for its ability to lure butterflies, as well as bees and other insects.
With fragrant yellow or white flowers, evening primrose gets its name from its tendency to bloom at night, allowing nocturnal species like moths and bats to take advantage of its nectar in the evening hours. Butterflies and bees are also attracted to evening primrose at times when its blooms are open during the day.
New England Aster
Named after the Greek word for “star” due to its star-shaped appearance, New England aster can have lavender, pink, and purple blooms, and can grow up to six feet in height. Despite its name, this beautiful flower can be grown across the majority of the US and is a key provider of nectar to monarch butterflies when migrating south to Mexico in the fall.
Although lupine, or Lupinus perennis, plants can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested, they are host plants for the Karner blue butterfly, a federally endangered species. These tall, colorful plants are best planted in the spring, and in addition to their pollinator-attracting qualities, they can also increase nitrogen levels in soil, improving the soil’s health.
At All Native Seed, we provide seed mixes that include many of these pollinator-friendly flower species and more, ensuring your land will be populated with beneficial pollinators as well as gorgeous, aesthetically pleasing flowers.
To learn more about our seed mixes and how we can help you get started with your planting project, don’t hesitate to reach out to our seed experts today.