Would you love a gloriously colorful and long-blooming garden that’s also a buffet for pollinators of all types? It's easy to create a beautiful habitat in your own backyard where there’s something for everyone. Adding simple pollinator-friendly plant combinations to your beds and borders is a great way to start.
Like the border pictured above? You could easily achieve this look in a weekend! Just bring several Evolution™ Fiesta Coneflowers home from your local garden center and plant them along a pathway, driveway, or other narrow borders for a quick pollinator-friendly color pop. Add in the complementary cool purple of the bee-friendly French Lavender for good measure.
Find 9 more design ideas and plant combinations perfect for your pollinator garden weekend project below.
Remember to tag us @monroviaplants and use #mymonrovia to show off your own pollinator garden and weekend projects this season!
Top 5 Pollinator Garden Tips
- Avoid pesticides as much as possible, and if pest control is necessary, always start with the gentlest, most targeted approach.
- Remember that a healthy insect population is full of beneficial insects that will naturally keep pests in check.
- Plant the same pollinator-friendly plant in masses of at least 3’x3’. This makes them easier to find and more efficient to forage for pollinators.
- Find a balance between tidying up the garden and leaving some potential nesting structures for insects.
- Have something in bloom from spring through fall to provide nectar and pollen for as long as possible.
Find these tips, as well as landscape plans and plant lists for your backyard habitat in the Backyard Habitat Guide.
3 Pretty Pink (or Purple) Pollinator Combos
Pink- and purple-blooming plants are not only fan-favorite colors in the garden, but many also attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Some popular pink and purple pollinator plants to look for at your local garden center include penstemon, agastache, bee balm, salvia, coneflower, and lavender.
Bees love all of these thanks to the abundance of both pollen and nectar, and the color pink is especially attractive to butterflies, while hummingbirds are drawn to the deeper shades of purple.
Pollinator Plant Favorites in Pink and Purple
This disease-resistant pollinator plant features a bushy, compact habit and long bloom period, thriving even in poor, dry soils and full sun. Produces a profusion of showy, upright spikes of white-throated, magenta-red flowers. Full sun. Up to 22" tall, 16" wide. Zones 5-9.
Bees and butterflies flock to the abundance of boldly colored, shaggy lilac-purple flowers atop fragrant minty-basil-scented foliage. This perennial resists powdery mildew better than others, making it ideal for planting en masse in sunny borders. Partial to full sun. Up to 12" tall, 10" wide. Zones 4-9.
3 Colorful Coneflower Combos
Coneflowers are an excellent addition to any pollinator garden design. Their showy flowers bloom from midsummer to early fall and come in a wide range of colors, including pink, purple, white, and yellow. Coneflowers are particularly attractive to butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects, making them a must-have for any pollinator garden with the appropriate climate conditions.
Use them in your mixed borders, wildlife garden, cutting garden, mass plantings, or even in large containers.
With a wide array of beautiful colors and an easy-care favorite, coneflowers are an excellent choice for any gardener seeking to support local ecosystems and add long-lasting beauty to their landscape.
Favorite Coneflowers for Pollinator Gardens
This beautiful coneflower is a cutting garden essential and perfect for pollinator borders. Fiesta offers a riot of color with spicy coral-pink flowers that age to softer shades! Enjoy a lively display throughout summer with new flowers continuously emerging. Full sun. Up to 20" tall, 18" wide. Zones 4-9.
These enchanting coneflowers have a green center cone framed by dense petals in a lovely palette of pink hues! The lush foliage and sturdy, upright stems create a beautiful backdrop for the continuous profusion of blooms from late spring through fall. Full sun. Up to 20" tall, 18" wide. Zones 4-9.
A profusion of rich, golden yellow, large blooms that beautifully adorn a sunny border or cutting garden from late spring through summer. This sturdy selection was bred for cold hardiness and a compact form with prolific flowering over an exceptionally long season. Full sun. Up to 22" tall, 24" wide. Zones 4-9.
A great choice for wildlife gardens and is loved by butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and birds. Deep red flowers with dark centers over a long bloom season on this short and compact variety! It's Its smaller size makes it great for containers, too. Full sun. Up to 14" tall and wide. Zones 5-9.
3 Dreamy Pollinator Cottage Combos
Pollinator-friendly cottage gardens are a beautiful way to attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to your yard. Plants with large blooms in soft shades add a dreamy quality that takes the design to the next level. Adding in a mix of pink and/or purple flowering plants (see our favorites above) provides a range of nectar sources for pollinators throughout the growing season. It's important to also include some herbs like lavender and thyme, which not only attract pollinators but can also be harvested for culinary use.
Cottage gardens are meant to be a little wild and free (get cottage garden design tips here), so don't be afraid to mix and match different plant combinations to create your own unique pollinator-friendly design.
Favorite Plants for Pollinator-Friendly Cottage Gardens
This heat- and drought-tolerant selection has a sturdy, compact form that does not flop over in the landscape. Lavender-blue flower sprays enhance its aromatic, deer-resistant foliage, making it a colorful, pollinator-friendly, and easy-care choice for an accent, border, or mass planting. Full sun. Up to 18" tall, 26" wide. Zones 4-10.
Large lavender-purple flower spikes provide nectar to pollinators throughout the summer on this drought-tolerant, easy-care shrub. It has improved hardiness, sterile flowers, and a more manageable size, growing into a dense shrub. Full sun. Up to 6' tall, 4' wide. Zones 5-9.
The pollinator magnet features striking deep-blue flowers, making it a great addition to any perennial border or wildlife garden. Its highly fragrant foliage has a rich green color with silvery undersides. The plant is vigorous and adaptable to different environments. Up to 3' tall, 2' wide. Full sun. Zones 5-9.
The iciest pink blooms you'll ever see! Large flower heads of soft pink on shorter, sturdier stems than other varieties. Attracts beneficial, pollinating insects and butterflies. Combine with blue-toned grasses or shrubs for a stunning effect. Full sun. Up to 12" tall, 16" wide. Zones 4-9.
A compact plant with showy, mauve-purple, dome-shaped flower heads that bloom from late summer to early fall. It provides spectacular late-summer color and vertical interest in borders and naturalized areas. A wonderful addition to meadows, and native gardens. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 4' tall, 3' wide. Zones 4-9.
An excellent pollinator perennial, loved by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Spikes of light-pink flowers are paired with darker buds for a lovely two-tone effect that lasts from late spring to frost. This variety is unique for its shorter, compact growth habit and dense blooms that cover the entire plant. Full sun. Up to 16" tall and wide. Zones 6-10.
More Information About Pollinator-Friendly Gardening
- Take a look at the pollinator section of the blog for a variety of stories about pollinator-friendly gardening
- Free Backyard Habitat Guide with Landscape Plans
- Modern Meadow: A fresh take on pollinator garden design
- What to Plant to Attract Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and Bees
- Ask an Expert: Best Pollinator Plants for the Garden
- Beneficial Insects for a Healthy Garden: A Visual Guide
- Best Early-Spring Flowering Plants to Attract Pollinators
- 10 Early-Blooming, Cold-Hardy Plants for Pollinators
- Late Summer and Fall-Blooming Perennials
- Grow a Pollinator Border
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