“You have so many gorgeous perennials to choose from if you want to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators,” says Justin Hancock, garden expert at Costa Farms. “Look for varieties with lots of nectar and pollen, but also types that bring you colorful blooms or sweet fragrances to enjoy.”
Pollinator gardens of all sizes are valuable to bees and butterflies. Hancock recommends incorporating these five perennials to imbue your yard with dramatic color and offer a safe haven for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.
- Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ and ‘Pow Wow Wildberry’ Coneflower (Echinacea) is a North American native that’s favored by bees and butterflies. They Love its nectar-rich blooms and you will too because coneflower is so low maintenance. While a there are many varieties around, look for newer award-winning selections such as ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ and ‘Pow Wow Wildberry’, both of which have been awarded by All-America Selections. Coneflowers grow 3 feet tall and bloom from early summer through fall. They are topnotch flowers for bouquets.
- Gaura ‘Belleza Dark Pink’ Guara ‘Belleza Dark Pink’ is a must-have in beds, borders, and containers for its texture and low-maintenance nature. Another North American native, you’ll be delighted by its practically endless supply of summertime blooms. It’s deer-resistant, too! This variety grows two to three feet tall and is hardy in zones 5-9.
- Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’ Another All-America Selections award winner, Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’ boasts North American native roots, a long bloom season, and excellent drought resistance. Gaillardia grows 12 inches tall and wide and is hardy in Zones 3-9.
- Verbena ‘Endurascape Purple’ Verbena ‘Endurascape Purple’, a top performer in the Costa Farms Trial Garden, bears nonstop flowers from starting in summer and continuing through fall. Hydrangea-like clusters of bold purple florets bring lots of butterflies and hummingbirds to yards and planters. It grows 12 inches tall and 24 inches across. It’s deer resistant and hardy in zones 7-10.
- Phlox paniculata There’s a lot to love about garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), including its ease of growth, beautiful colors, and delightful fragrance. A reliable perennial that comes back every year, it shows off its flowers from midsummer to fall. They appear in luscious tones of red, pink, purple, and white. While phlox is adored by butterflies, deer typically leave it alone. It grows 18 inches tall and is hardy in zones 3-9.
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