June is National Pollinator month, and it’s the perfect time to give bees, butterflies, and birds a little recognition. Pollinators are such an important part of getting our gardens to grow.

Did you know, Honeybees alone are directly responsible for pollinating one-third of the food we eat? They help fertilize flowers, carrying pollen from one plant to another in exchange for food.

So how can we give back to the creatures that do so much for us? We’ve compiled a few easy ways you can celebrate pollinators in your garden:

1. Plant a pollinator-friendly garden with plants

To keep your garden beautiful, you can attract pollinators by planting nectar-rich flowers that appeal to them. Try adding native plants to an existing garden or creating a whole new garden specifically for pollinators. Choose plants that bloom at different times throughout the year, providing long-term food and shelter. To keep blooms going, be sure to fertilize with Van Wilgen’s slow-release fertilizer and Bloom Booster.

Adding Echinaceas and Rudbeckias to the perennial border is one way to attract Swallowtails and Painted Ladies. Plus, providing host plants like parsley and dill is great to keep these two returning. The butterflies will use the herbs to lay their eggs and provide for young caterpillars, repeating the cycle.

Pollinators are also attracted to a wide variety of other perennials, annuals, and shrubs including Lantana, Verbena, Vermillionaire, buddleia, zinnia, Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly Weed, Nepeta, Yarrow, Foxglove, Lupine, and Lavender just to name a few. You could easily fill an entire garden with pollinator plants, so stop by the Garden Center for additional plant recommendations.

2. Build a bee hotel

Solitary bees, bees that live alone and not in hives, need a place to make their nests. Welcome these gentle bees to your garden by adding a bee hotel. Solitary bees don’t make honey and rarely sting. Females lay their eggs inside a small hollow tube and then they patch the door with mud. You can DIY or purchase a bee hotel here at the Garden Center to encourage pollinators to check in to your garden.

3. Create a butterfly-friendly space

In addition to nectar-rich plants, such as butterfly bush, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure butterflies pay you a visit year after year. Butterflies love warm sunny spots, so you can add a few big, flat rocks to sunny areas for butterflies to bask and sunbathe on. You can also add a butterfly house or hibernation box in your butterfly haven. Place it several feet above the ground in a lightly shaded area. Butterflies will seek refuge in the narrow openings of the house where predators can’t enter. A butterfly house also provides protection from wind and rain in summer storms. To be a good backyard host, place your butterfly house near nectar-rich plants.

Butterflies also love mud puddles on a sunny day (especially after a good rain) and drink the salt and minerals from the soil, which they later pass to females during mating. Salts and minerals greatly improve the health of a butterfly egg, ensuring generations to come. You can make your own at home, by adding sand and water to a saucer and placing it in your garden; you can even add a pinch of salt.

4. Increase feather pollinator population

Insects aren’t the only pollinators around town. Hummingbirds are also great pollinators. Hang a hummingbird feeder in your yard to encourage our feathered friends to stop by. The plants that are pollinated by Hummingbirds tend to produce more nectar than plants pollinated by insects, hanging a feeder will pay off in the long run.

October has arrived and with it comes fall flavors. Pumpkin spice pops up practically wherever you go. And there’s nothing like a freshly picked apple or glass of apple cider.

Pollinators know it‘s fall too and they could use some help from your garden. This time of year is known as nectar flow, where many major nectar sources are blooming. They want their own fall fixes as they prepare to hibernate or migrate.

You’ve probably added perennials and trees to your garden for pollinators, now add fall flowers to bring pollinators to your garden.


5 Fall Blooming Plants for Pollinators


All kinds of pollinators are attracted to this fall-blooming plant — bees, butterflies, native birds, and other insects. This double-duty plant will bring vibrant colors to your garden while providing nectar from summer into late fall. Asters are appealing to pollinators due to their friendly flower structure. They grow 2-3 feet tall and are happy in both sun and partial shade.


The fall color scape isn’t complete without the echinacea’s vibrant color. This easy-to-grow plant brings butterflies and bees to your garden. It grows well in full sun to part sun and blooms continually through the summer months. It is also deer resistant making it a great choice if you are challenged with deer problems.

Verbena Bonariensis

Bring the fall colors to your garden with this deep purple plant. The flowers cluster at the top of a long slender stem, which butterflies and bees adore. Verbena responds better to late fall sowing as it likes cold temperatures. They grow 2-4 feet tall and are happy in full sun.

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed is perfect for gardeners looking to add some height. It may be called a weed, but it brings the classic fall mauve to play with large dinner plate-sized blooms. They are loved by butterflies and will bloom late summer into the fall. They can grow up to 5 feet tall and are happy in full sun.

Autumn Joy Sedum

If you know the classic sedum for the large pink blooms, you will be in for a surprise with Autumn Joy. This variety offers burnt red blossoms on top of tall gray-green stalks. The vibrant fall color complements your garden this season. Butterflies are frequent visitors to this plant. It will last through the fall until the flowers dry in the winter. They grow 2 feet tall and are happy in full sun.

Be sure to keep fall blooms big and vibrant!