My pollinator picks

Out of the many plants I grow, here are some pollinator-friendly plants (some wildflowers) that I grow in my Northeast garden. I selected these plants because they require minimal care to do well.

Coneflowers

These are one of my favorite wildflowers that I grow in the garden, and I've found that the standard purple variety is the most reliable when it comes to returning every year. The butterflies and bees love this!

Feverfew

This plant, with its dainty daisy flowers, is in the herb family and attracts many good insects to my garden. It also starts blooming in that down period between May and June when the spring-blooming bulbs have wrapped up but the summer perennials haven't started yet. It self-sows - a lot - so if you don't want volunteers, cut it back after it blooms.

Crocus 

One of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, crocus provides early-emerging bees with a nectar source. Their beauty is fleeting and they don't last long, but they provide color when gardeners need it the most in late winter. Plus, they are inexpensive to buy.

Monarda ~ Bee Balm

This plant can spread, but I let it go because it's a guarantee magnet for the hummingbirds. It is easy to maintain.

Joe Pye Weed

This plant is covered in bees and butterflies in late summer. There are dwarf varieties as well if you don't want a towering plant in the garden.

Asters

This is one of the flowers I find monarch butterflies attracted to in the late summer, early fall during their migration time. They come in an array of pretty colors, and range from very short to very tall plants.

Honeysuckle

I grow three varieties of honeysuckle in my garden, but this one - Major Wheeler - is the most popular with the hummingbird. It does bloom for a shorter period of time then the other two, but I love the pop of color in May.

Borage

A bee magnet! This one will self-seed around the garden if you let it, and it's even edible.

Butterfly Weed

This plant self-sows where it wants in my garden, and I allow it to go where it wants. It provides a dramatic pop of color that I - and butterflies - love. It's also low maintenance, another win for me.

Zinnia

I'd be remiss if I didn't include my namesake flower in this collection (as well as the preferred choice of American Meadows' Mike Lizotte's 5-year-old daughter!). This plant is easy to grow from seed, comes in so many color choices, and attracts butterflies like crazy.  

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