Perennials for Butterfly and Pollinator Gardens
Asters – New England asters provide a needed late season food source for butterflies and bees.
Bee Balm – Aptly named perennial because bees love it. Hummingbirds too!
Black-eyed Susan – Rudbeckia is a hardy perennial wildflower for Georgia. It’s ideal for a butterfly habitat!
Butterfly Weed – Sun loving, low maintenance wildflower. Butterfly weed attracts many butterfly species.
Coneflower – A drought tolerant rudbeckia which is a favorite of butterflies and other pollinating insects.
Coreopsis – There are many types of coreopsis. A sun loving perennial plant for bee and butterfly gardens.
Catmint – Fragrant foliage and purple blue flowers. Catmint attracts butterflies and pollinators to your yard.
Daylily – While not a typically shaped flower for pollinators, bees, butterflies and hummingbirds love daylilies.
Dianthus – Very fragrant flower in pinks or white, dianthus is a butterfly favorite. Drought tolerant perennial.
Daisy – Shasta daisies are an easy to grow flower for the south to attract butterflies. Sun, drought tolerant.
Gaura – The delicate flowers on tall stems create a pollinator friendly environment.
Goldenrod – Goldenrod is an important late season food source for pollinating insects and butterflies.
Joe Pye Weed – Flowers in late summer/fall and offers pollinators food when other sources are scarce.
Lavender – The pretty purple flowers attract butterflies and bees. A great idea for a pollinator garden plan.
Penstemon – Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees all like the tubular blossoms on beardtongue.
Pincushion Flower – A pretty, herbaceous perennial with a long blooming season.
Milkweed – Host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Provides pollen and nectar for visiting Monarchs.
Rosemary – Aromatic foliage. Used in cooking and is honey bee and butterfly friendly.
Salvia – There are many members of the perennial sage family which appeal to butterflies.
Sedum – For sale at nurseries in many sizes. May be used in a patio or deck container butterfly garden plan.
Veronica Speedwell – Tall purple or pink flower spikes will have continuous butterfly and pollinator visitors.
Yarrow – Flat topped wildflower ideal for butterflies to land on and feed from.
Shrubs for Butterfly and Pollinator Gardens
Abelia – In mid summer abelia has small, bell shaped flowers in white to shell pink. The blooms will attract bees and butterflies alike, which will provide them with a food source in when the weather is hot.
Beautyberry – Native pollinators and butterflies are attracted to the pretty pink flower clusters on American beautyberry. It is an excellent all around wildlife friendly shrub for a habitat. In fall the unique lavender berries will be relished by birds.
Blueberry Bush – Bees will be all over blueberry bushes when they flower. Blueberry is a best pick for both pollinator friendly and sustainable landscape plans. Harvest the fruit for yourself or leave for the birds to feast on.
Butterfly Bush – Butterfly bush is aptly named because the flowers are highly attractive to many species of butterflies. This shrub comes in a variety of sizes from large to dwarf to suit any garden space. Dwarf sizes may even be grown in a container to create a balcony or patio butterfly garden.
Buttonbush ‘Sugar Shack’– Ball shaped, fragrant white flowers and red berries in fall. Foliage is glossy green and this cultivar is smaller sized than species so a best idea for residential landscape plans.
Fothergilla – Native witchalder bush. Fothergilla flowers in early spring before the leave emerge. The bottle brush like flowers have a mild honey fragrance and will provide food for early season native bees and butterflies. The yellow and orange fall color makes Fothergilla a show stopping shrub for any landscape plan.
Holly – Bees absolutely love the early spring flowers on holly bushes. Berries in fall will attract songbird which will help you create an eco friendly garden design. Be sure to select a holly variety which produces berries as some hollies are sterile and produce no nectar or pollen.
Itea – Native. A pollinator friendly shrub which is a food source for native bees and butterflies. Itea has white, tassel like blooms in early summer and great fall color in rich maroon and purple. It helps you create a wildlife habitat and beautiful landscape design. Itea can tolerate some shade.
Lilac – Not only will lilac smell wonderful and look beautiful, the large, purple flowers will attract bees and butterflies. Lilac typically does not grow well in Georgia but Kinsey Family Farm carries cultivars which thrive in the south. Lilac is a best pick for a butterfly habitat.
Ninebark – Native ninebark is a butterfly and pollinator friendly shrub. The summer flowers will attract bees and butterflies, providing them with a food source at a time when several butterfly species are in flight. Don’t deadhead the flowers, the birds will eat the seed heads!
Raspberry / Blackberry – Bring a fruit bearing plant, raspberries and blackberries are great for attracting pollinators to a property. Butterflies appreciate them too! Our raspberry plants are thornless and non invasive so you can have a unsuitable, pollinator friendly garden.
Spicebush – A native shrub which is a host plant for spicebush swallowtail. Blooms in spring are non-showy but attractive to pollinators. Spicebush is dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants. Fall will bring red berries on female plants. Spicebush is a great choice for a habitat garden, appealing to bees, butterflies and birds. Foliage is aromatic which will add a wonderful, spicy fragrance to your yard.
St John’s Wort – A wonderful and often overlooked native shrub for a pollinator safe zone garden. There are different varieties of St John’s Wort but all produce cheerful yellow flowers during the summer months. Both bees and butterflies are highly attracted to St John’s Wort.
Summersweet Clethra – A highly fragrant native shrub with good fall color, Clethra is an asset in a pollinator garden. The summer flowers will attract bees and butterflies. Summersweet prefers moisture. While it can tolerate dry spells, it is a best pick for damp areas or where water collects after a rain.
Witch Hazel – Witch hazel is a winter blooming shrub pollinated by owlet moths. It is worth mentioning for a bee pollinator garden in the south/southeast due to our warm winters. Since some bees overwinter, if we have a warm spell, bees may emerge and be hungry. Witch hazel can provide bees with a survival food source.
Trees for Butterfly and Pollinator Gardens
Chaste Tree – Vitex chaste tree blooms in mid to late summer when several species of butterflies are in flight. The flowers are a butterfly and pollinator magnet. Tall flower spikes are a lovely lavender purple and it will be difficult to find a bloom without a pollinator on it!
Cherry Tree – While not all ornamental cherry is good for a attracting pollinators, some varieties such as ‘Yoshino’ will be beneficial. Both produce both pollen and nectar which will attract bees and also provide a graceful flowering tree for your landscape design.
Crabapple – A beautiful small ornamental tree which provides a food source for early season pollinators. The first bees of the season will thank you! In fall the small crabapples will attract birds to your garden. One of the best small trees for a bee friendly habitat garden design.
Maple – Native maple is a good bee tree and provides an early spring food source for brood building. Since maples flower so early in the season, in some years they may be a survival food source for early appearing pollinators.
Southern Magnolia – Southern magnolia can be very attractive to native bees. Our native southern magnolias are interesting trees because they are ancient and developed before bees did. This means that their flower did not evolve with bees in mind, however they still provide pollen and attract pollinators.
Mountain Gordlinia ‘Sweet Tea’ – A hybrid of Franklinia alatamaha ans Gordonia lasianthus, Loblolly Bay. Large, slightly cupped,showy white flowers with a yellow center attract bees to a backyard habitat. Blooms in late summer to fall when pollinators need a food source.
Paw Paw – Native tree which is a host plant for the zebra swallowtail butterfly. Paw paw has edible fruit for a sustainable, wildlife friendly habitat garden. It is also a pretty ornamental tree with stunning summer foliage which will turn bright yellow in fall.
Redbud – Redbud is a wonderful small tree which fits well into a landscape design. The early spring blooms are beautiful as well as a native bee favorite. Redbud is an excellent choice for an environmentally friendly property.
Serviceberry – Native small tree. Very attractive to early pollinators and native bees. In the fall you will get edible berries, making serviceberry a best pick for a sustainable, eco friendly landscape. Pick the fruit to eat yourself or leave the fruit for birds.
Sourwood – Native small tree. Bees absolutely love sourwood blooms. Sourwood also brings value to a landscape design as an ornamental tree. It has interesting, deeply ridged bark, shiny foliage and stunning red fall color.
Tulip Poplar – Native large canopy tree and host plant for the tiger swallowtail. The tulip shaped flowers are green and orange. The blooms produce a lot of nectar for native bees, making this tree ideal for attracting native bees and butterflies.