Attracting Pollinators

Did you know you can attract specific pollinators by planting their preferred flower color, shape, and odor? Based on these features, we can predict which plants each pollinator is most likely to visit based on these features! For example, bees can see UV light and color in the blue and green spectrum, but can’t see red. This makes them less likely to pollinate red flowers and more likely to visit plants that are blue, purple, yellow, or reflect UV light. This logic also applies to birds, butterflies, flies, and more.

Attracting Bees

Bees prefer flowers that are purple, blue, or yellow, many of which reflect UV light in their center. This helps bees find the nectar within the flower! Blooms with a landing pad are the most attractive since bees land before collecting pollen. You can also have more success by putting a water source nearby, like a birdbath.


Butterflies prefer flat open flowers or those in clusters with landing pads and a pink, purple, orange, red, or white flower hue. Adding some stones or pebbles can be attractive to butterflies, as they need sunny spots to rest and recharge.


Hummingbirds have long beaks and tongues that allow them to reach nectar from long, tubular flowers, which is their preferred shape. They can see the color red, unlike bees, and are drawn to bright shades of red, orange, purple, and pink. Try adding a hummingbird feeder for extra incentive.

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Remember to avoid using pesticides while pollinators are active as this can cause damage. Also, planting various colors and shapes with different flowering times in clumps is a great way to vary and increase the number of species that stop by. Read more about pollinators below: