Pollinator Friendly Plants

Inspiration / Pollinator Plants

Thanks to one of our founding independent growers, Sheridan Nurseries and their sales representative Brianna Hastie for sharing this article on pollinator friendly plants!


The signs of spring sure start to show as the sun shines for longer each day. The birds have started chirping again and soon gardening plans will be put into action. As the weather continues to warm, beautiful butterflies, delicate hummingbirds and buzzing bees will be eager to greet many of the flowers in the landscape. A popular and important trend in gardening has been to create safer ecosystems for Bees and other pollinators by selecting certain plants. Handpicked for You® has an excellent selection of top performing Pollinator Friendly Plants that look stunning in the landscape and make it easy to please our pollinator friends at the same time.    

Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are frequently highlighted when the term pollinator is mentioned but a pollinator is any animal or insect that helps move pollen from one flower to the next. The transfer of pollen from one flower to another is called pollination, and this triggers fruit and seed development in plants. Adding pollinator friendly plants to your yard can be very helpful if you have a vegetable garden during the summer. If the pollinators are attracted to the yard for the ornamental plants then they are likely to visit the nearby vegetable garden as well. There are too many pollinators in our environment to name each one but the plants highlighted in this article will attract bees, butterflies, or hummingbirds to your garden. In some cases, a plant may attract all three!

A general favourite among pollinators are perennials. Little Goldstar Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Little Goldstar’) is a perfect fit for almost any garden because of its tight, rounded form. It is best used in a sunny location and will provide gorgeous, yellow blooms from Summer through to Fall. The Magnus Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’) needs a similar location and will bloom at the same time. The Magnus Coneflower is a tough plant for areas with a bit more space. It stands 60-90 cm (2-3’) tall and showcases large deep purple flowers. Rozanne Geranium (Geranium ‘Rozanne’) can be used in a location with more shade and will still bloom violet-blue cup-shaped flowers all summer long above lush deep green foliage – perfect for attracting pollinators.

Pollinators are also attracted to different ground covers such as Walker’s Low Catmint and Angelina Stonecrop. Walker’s Low Catmint (Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’) is a very drought and heat tolerant perennial that has sprays of bluish purple flowers. The flowers appear over fragrant and soft gray-green foliage. Angelina Stonecrop (Sedum repestre ‘Angelina’) has chartreuse needle like leaves and will also tolerate a dry and hot location. In the Summer months, the pollinators will come by looking for the small yellow flowers on Angelina Stonecrop. To help newly planted perennials establish, ensure they are watered well in the drier months.

Although perennials are a favourite, pollinators are also attracted to some hardy shrubs that can make an impact in your landscape. The Hummingbird Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’) has one of the popular pollinators in its name and is a perfect example of a shrub with substance. In summer this compact, dark green shrub is covered with long, extremely fragrant white flower spikes. Hummingbird Summersweet will also tolerate some shade and turn a beautiful yellow in the fall. The certified Handpicked for You® plant list also includes many Spirea which will attract pollinators. Magic Carpet and Neon Flash Japanese Spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Magic Carpet’/’Neon Flash’) as well as Goldmound Spirea (Spiraea x bumalda ‘Goldmound’) are tough, well performing shrubs that will be sure to please both the gardener and the pollinator.

There are many plants that satisfy pollinators and help to create a safe green space for everyone living on this beautiful planet. To see more information on the plants listed in this article as well as other landscape plants be sure to click here to check out all the Handpicked for You® pollinator friendly plants.

Whether creating a new garden just for pollinators or adding pollinator plants to an already established yard, the Handpicked for You® Trustmark and the Horticultural Professionals at your local Independent Garden Centre are making it easier to know what to choose for your garden. Time to create something green – and Pollinator Friendly!    

For more information please visit one of our participating Garden Centres - click here to find one near you!