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!

June 11, Van Wilgens will host our Kids Klub Butterfly Release event! Ironically, we had just as many adults attending last year’s, as we did kids! Gardeners love the world of beauty of butterflies! Here’s an example of how you can cultivate your own.
Butterflies can be pretty delicate creatures but can also be very complex. If the goal is to add butterflies to your garden, follow this simple approach: attract them and then provide for them when they come. This approach is what makes butterflies return season after season.
Many of my articles talk about attracting and luring butterflies into the landscape, which is easy by planting lots of their favorite nectar-rich flowers, then adding host plants to keep them and their juveniles around. Adding coneflowers/Echinaceas/Rudbeckias to the perennial border is one way to attract Swallowtails and Painted Ladies. Providing host plants like parsley and dill is great to keep these two returning. The butterflies will use the herbs as host plants to lay their eggs and provide for young caterpillars, repeating the cycle. Just a note, when you find caterpillars in your garden, don’t panic, but analyze. Are you seeing just a few or are you seeing dozens upon dozens? A handful of caterpillars is often the sign of butterflies incognito. Loads of caterpillars are usually a sign of pests like moths and flies. Remember, some of the ugliest critters morph into beautiful butterflies!
Just like gardening, butterflying works best when you get involved. Read up on your butterfly guests and plant diversity in your gardens. Looking for great plants? Look no further! Look to us. Its what Van Wilgens does best!