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Best Pollinator Plants to Attract Hummingbirds and Monarchs

Birds, Bees and Pollinator Plants 101

Pollinator plants are a great way to attract beneficial insects and wildlife to your lawn while adding beauty and color to your landscape. Hummingbirds and monarch butterflies are two of the most popular pollinators people like to attract to their gardens. This article will discuss the best pollinator plants for attracting hummingbirds and monarchs.


What are pollinators and what's their role in pollination?

"Pollinators are birds, bees, insects or even bats that carry nectar from the male parts of a flower to the female parts of the same type flower to make it fertile", states Tammy Sons, CEO at TN Nursery, a local native plant nursery in Tennessee.

Hummingbirds are known for bright, iridescent feathers and ability to hover mid-air. They are also essential pollinators because they feed on the nectar of flowers and spread pollen from one plant to another.

"Native plants are the top pollinator plants for attracting hummingbirds to your yard" Tammy further adds.

Monarch butterflies are known for their beautiful orange and black wings and long migration patterns. They are also essential pollinators because they feed on the nectar of flowers and spread pollen from one plant to another. Here are some of the best pollinator plants for attracting monarch butterflies to your yard:


Top 5 Plants That Will Attract Pollinators 

Bee Balm (Monarda) is a native plant that produces bright red, pink, or purple flowers shaped like tubes. Hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar in these flowers, also visited by bees and butterflies. Bee balm is a perennial plant that can grow up to 4 feet tall and prefers full sun or partial shade.


Upscale™ 'Red Velvet' - Bee Balm - Monarda hybrid | Proven Winners

 (Lobelia cardinalis) The Red Cardinal Flower is a perennial plant with bright red flowers shaped like tubes. These flowers are favorites for hummingbirds, bees and insect pollinators. This vibrant perennial can grow to heights near 4 feet. Cardinal flowers thrive in moist soil and partial shade, and bloom in late summer.


Amazon.com : Red Cardinal Flower 5 Roots, Lobelia Cardinalis : Patio, Lawn  & Garden

 Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) is a fast-growing vine that produces bright orange-red flowers shaped like trumpets. Hummingbirds love the nectar in these flowers that can grow up to 30 feet long. Trumpet vine prefers full sun and well-drained soil. 


Red Trumpet Vine Campsis Radicans 20 Seeds Vigorous - Etsy

Salvia (Salvia splendens) Salvia is a popular annual plant that produces bright red, pink, or purple flowers shaped like tubes. Hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar in these flowers, which bloom from spring to fall. Salvia prefers full sun and well-drained soil. 


Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.) Fuchsia is a popular plant that produces bright pink, purple, or red flowers shaped like bells. Hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar in these flowers, and can grow up to 6 feet tall. Fuchsia prefers partial shade and moist soil. 

Top 3 Plants To Attract Monarchs

Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Milkweed is the only plant on which monarch butterflies lay their eggs, and it is also a great source of nectar for adult butterflies. Milkweed produces clusters of small, pink, or white flowers that bloom in summer, and it prefers full sun and well-drained soil.


Milkweed, Swamp - Justin Seed


Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) Purple coneflower is a perennial plant that produces bright purple flowers with a cone-shaped center. Monarch butterflies are attracted to the nectar in these flowers, which bloom in late summer. Purple coneflower prefers full sun and well-drained soil.


Amazon.com : Outsidepride Perennial Echinacea Purple Coneflower Wild  Flowers Great for Cutting - 1000 Seeds : Flowering Plants : Patio, Lawn &  Garden


Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) Black-eyed Susan is a popular wildflower that produces bright yellow flowers with dark centers. Monarch butterflies are attracted to the nectar in these flowers, which bloom from midsummer to fall. Black-eyed Susan prefers full sun and the best plants to pollinate berry plants.


Black-Eyed Susan Prairie - Seed Savers Exchange

Native plants are the most self sufficient plants to use to attract pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies. This is due to them being low maintenance, easy to care for and never requiring fertilizers or ample amounts of moisture.  

Pollinator plant natives are vital to the environment for several reasons:

  1. They support biodiversity: Pollinator plants provide food and shelter to various species, including insects, birds, and other animals. This helps to support biodiversity in the ecosystem, which is essential for maintaining the health and resilience of natural systems.
  2. They support pollinators: Pollinator plants provide a vital nutrient called nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Pollinators play an essential role in the reproduction of many plant species, providing food and habitat for other animals.
  3. They support agriculture: Many crops rely on pollinators to produce fruits and seeds. Pollinator plants provide a food source for pollinators, which can help increase agricultural systems' productivity.
  4. They improve soil health: Pollinator plants can help improve soil health by providing organic matter, improving soil structure and fertility. This can help support plant growth and increase the ecosystem's overall health.

Overall, pollinator plants play a vital role in supporting the health and resilience of ecosystems and supporting agriculture and food production.

Monarda "Jacob Cline" Bee Balm - TN Nursery

Monarda Bee Balm

Monarda Bee Balm boasts clusters of large, scarlet-red flowers that attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It is a vibrant and captivating perennial plant with numerous landscaping benefits. With its striking appearance and unique features, this plant can enhance the aesthetic appeal of gardens and outdoor spaces while contributing to the ecosystem. One of the primary benefits of incorporating it into landscaping is its stunning visual impact. These flowers of this plant, besides being beautiful. These are valuable additions for those interested in supporting local wildlife populations. Furthermore, the upright growth habit of it creates a natural vertical element in landscaping designs. This can be particularly useful for adding structure and dimension to flower beds and mixed borders. The plant's lush green foliage, which often releases a pleasant fragrance when touched, adds a layer of texture and contrast against its vibrant blossoms. Besides its aesthetic qualities, it also offers practical benefits. Its dense growth pattern can effectively help suppress weed growth, reducing the need for excessive weeding and maintenance. Planting in larger groupings can also be a natural ground cover, helping stabilize soil and prevent slope erosion. Its adaptability to various soil types and its tolerance to varying moisture conditions make it a versatile choice for landscaping projects. Its hardy nature also means it can withstand different weather conditions, adding to its overall reliability as a landscaping plant. In conclusion, it offers many benefits for landscaping endeavors. From its eye-catching appearance and ability to attract pollinators to its contribution to weed suppression and soil stabilization, this plant brings aesthetic and functional advantages to outdoor spaces. Whether used in cottage gardens, perennial borders, or mixed plantings, it is a dynamic choice that can elevate any landscape's overall design and enjoyment. Order your Monarda "Jacob Cline" from TN Nursery today! Monarda "Jacob Cline," commonly known as Bee Balm or Scarlet Bee Balm, is a striking perennial herbaceous plant with remarkable ornamental qualities. Native to North America, this eye-catching member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) is celebrated for its vibrant appearance, attracting both garden enthusiasts and pollinators alike. Standing at 3 to 4 feet, it boasts a robust and upright growth habit. Its sturdy stems are clothed in lance-shaped, dark green leaves that emit a subtle fragrance when brushed against. The leaves provide an attractive backdrop to the main event: the brilliantly colored flowers. These blossoms emerge in mid to late summer and are spectacular. Each flower head is a cluster of tubular blossoms characterized by their intense scarlet-red hue. The flowers are grouped in dense, spherical clusters, creating a stunning visual exhibit reminiscent of a lush bouquet. Beyond their visual appeal, Monarda "Jacob Cline" flowers serve as a beacon for pollinators, particularly bees and hummingbirds. These creatures are irresistibly drawn to the nectar-rich blooms, making this plant an excellent addition to any wildlife garden or naturalized landscape. As the bees and hummingbirds flit from one flower to another, the garden comes alive with activity and color, creating a harmonious ecosystem. Monarda "Jacob Cline," Is Relatively Low Maintenance To successfully cultivate it provide well-drained soil and full to partial sunlight. This plant is relatively low-maintenance, and its vigor makes it resistant to most pests and diseases. Regular watering, especially during dry spells, will keep it thriving and blooming abundantly. Deadheading spent flowers can encourage prolonged flowering and prevent self-seeding, which can sometimes be invasive. In conclusion, Monarda "Jacob Cline" Bee Balm is a horticultural gem celebrated for its stunning scarlet-red blossoms and its role in supporting local pollinators. Whether you're looking to create a vibrant, wildlife-friendly garden or simply seeking a beautiful addition to your landscape, this native American perennial is a fantastic choice, adding color and life to your outdoor space.

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