Plants for attracting Bees, Butterflies and Hummingbirds
Every gardener should do their part to encourage bees
and butterflies to visit their garden. We have listed a few
flowers below that are recognized as bee, butterfly and hummingbird
3490 Ox-Eye Daisy ( Telekia speciosa )
A unique perennial plant for zones 3-8. Attracts birds, bees and butterflies and leaves are fragrant.
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates full sun as long as soils are kept consistently moist.
A sunflower-like perennial that is native primarily to mountainous areas in southern Europe, the Ukraine, the Balkans, the Caucusus and Turkey. Features sprays of single, daisy-like flower heads (to 3.5" across) with yellow rays and large, flattened, orange-yellow center disks. Blooms appear in late summer to early fall on branching-at-the-top stems rising to 4-6' tall. Coarse, aromatic, triangular leaves, are up to 12" long.
BM19 Bergamo Bee Balm (
Monarda hybrida )
Our favorite Bee Balm, bees simply love this plant!. Fleuroselect,unique compact plant, rose purple blooms, mildew resistant, early to flower, short lived, excellent cut flower. A perennial
growing 16" tall, hardy to zone 5.
TRN496 Desert Willow ( Chilopsis linearis )
Desert willow, Chilopsis linearis is a large deciduous shrub or small tree.
Hummingbirds love this plant when in bloom and will hang around it most of the summer.
Its willow like, long, narrow leaves and growth along desert washes give the desert willow its name.
The Penstemon like flowers are fragrant, pink to lavender. They appear in May and keep coming until September or frost. Likes moderate water and sun. Does best inland and in desert.
This is a great plant for a bird garden.
Best suited for zones 6-10.
SF085 Fireweed ( Epilobium Angustifolium )
A versatile perennial that offers beauty as well as value as a medicinal herb. The perennial has slender upright spikes of flowers in shades of rosy pink in the months of June to September. It gets its name from the fact that it is often the first weed to colonize in an area that has been destroyed by fire.
Other common names include: Willow Herb, Rosebay Willowherb, and Yanagiran. Native Americans used the Willowherb plant as a good source of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. Medicinally, the herb seeds can also be grown to relieve inflammation, draw out infection in wounds, and to treat burns.
Fireweed is very attractive to bees and butterflies, and Fireweed honey has become quite sought after. Fireweed seeds do best with a cold/moist treatment for 4 weeks prior to planting, or directly sow the herb seeds outdoors in the fall.
IP250 Cuckoo Flower ( Cardamine pratensis )
The name comes from the timing of the flowers, which coincides with the first calls of the Cuckoo bird in spring.
This unique wildflower can be found in moist or wet habitats, including meadows, damp grasslands, roadsides, ditches and river banks, so many are suprised that it also makes a very good rock garden plant.
The plant produces showy clusters of lilac-pink, purple or white flowers top the upright stems.
The flower is an important larval host plant and nectar source for the Orange-Tip and Green-Veined White butterflies, It makes a valuable addition to any garden which aims at attracting wildlife. Hardy to zone 4.
1A426 Purple Tansy ( Phacelia tanacetifolia )
Produces an abundant quantity of nectar which butterflies and bees find hard to resist, this is an excellent flower for planting alongside vegetable gardens to attract bees and benificial insects .A hardy annual, native to California but has naturalized throughout the western United States. The flowering portion of the stalk is curled, slowly unwinding to reveal lavender colored flowers at maturity. The stamens radiate outward, twice as long as the petals, giving the plant an unusual appearance. Prefers full sun in various soils.
Seedman Basic Info:
Grows about 12 to 24 inches tall, will germinate in about 15-60 days depending on soil and weather conditions, germinates best if soil temperature is in the 60-70°F range.
Cover seeds about 1/16" deep, blooms from April to July.
3560 Hummingbird Coral ( Salvia coccinea )
Tubular flower spike, very dainty, deep green leaf. Loads of coral and pale pink flowers cover this lovely sage all season long. Hummingbird Series Salvia are compact, heavy flowering, well-branched and vigorous. These plants self-sow nicely, so once you have them you need never replant again.
A long-blooming bedding annual that thrives in hot summer conditions. The flowers are absolutely irresistible to hummingbirds who rely on them as a late-season nectar source.
TRN409 Downy Wood Mint ( Blephilia ciliata )
Downy Wood Mint has a distinctive appeal with its tight clusters of pink-purple flowers stacked to resemble a pagoda. Strongly supported by downy-haired stems reaching just 1', the flowers too are hairy and twin-lipped with three lobes and reddish spots on the lower lip.
Reminiscent of much-loved Monardas, this Blephelia will spread by rhizomes slowly from a central tap root to form clumps. Deer will not bother this member of the Mint family but important pollinators will frequent it during its approximate 1 month early summer bloom time. Downy Wood Mint can thrive in almost any medium to dry-soil garden that receives a few hours or more sun per summer day making it a sure-fit for most gardens.
Originally native to the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic states it will flourish in any zones 4-8.
IP025 Geisha Girl Calendula ( Calendula Officinalis )
Sow this beautiful flower seed and forget! It's easy and rewarding to establish in any garden. Notable for its striking double rich orange-red flowers. It has curved petals similar to some chrysanthemum. Geisha Girl has oval foliage that is light green. A common name for Calendula is Pot Marigold.
Calendula flower seed produces a hardy plant. It is happy in most soil conditions. It requires well-drained soil, preferring full sun to semi-shade. Calendula is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. An annual plant growing to about 20 inches tall. For outside flower beds in zones 4-10. Deer resistant as well.
IP021 Teasel ( Dipsacus sativus )
A very dramatic plant to have in the back border as it can reach a height of 72 inches. Sometimes called Indian Teasel or Fuller's Teasel, it has comb-like flower heads that were used in the wool industry to bring up the nap in woolen cloth. It is also an excellent cut flower for drying. It is widely used in floral arrangements and crafts.
Teasel plants will perform well in sunny areas with well-drained soil. Once established they need very little care and are fairly drought tolerant. Deer do not bother the Fuller's Teasel plant. The Teasel flowers are very popular with bees, birds and hummingbirds who love the flowers and seeds.
Teasels are considered a biennial. The first year they will not produce a bloom, but the second year, tall spikes will form with flower heads that are 4 inches, cylindrical-shaped and made up of a mass of tiny flowers. The flowers are usually a lavender color and bloom in a band from the bottom of the flower head to the top, lasting about a month.
To keep a patch of Teasel plants in the garden, let a few of the flower heads go to seed. The Teasel flower seeds will drop and self-sow.
TRM073 Wild Tobacco ( Acnistus arborescens )
A good ornamental plant for large lawns. Small or medium sized shrubby tree to 10-20 feet. Small orange fruits are very popular with birds, but have little taste and may not be palatable for humans.
Despite its name, it does not contain any nicotine compounds. The common name Wild Tobacco is a misnomer, it may be because the mature leaves do resemble tobacco leaves.
Hardiness: Subtropical, will survive brief frosts.
HR145 Hyssop ( Hyssopus officinalis )
The Hyssop herb is an aromatic plant, and the young leaves are somewhat bitter and minty in flavor. A widely used culinary herb, both the flowers and leaves are used in salads although the leaves are much stronger in flavor. It is also used to flavor pork, chicken, soups, teas and stuffing.
Hyssop is also considered to be a medicinal herb, with the oil obtained from the leaves used to make herbal baths and facials.
Hyssop is an excellent bee plant. Legend has it that beekeepers rubbed their hives with hyssop and other herbs to encourage bees to stay. Hyssop also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies; claims that it keeps cabbage butterflies away from crops or repels flea beetles have not been substantiated.
A perennial hardy in zones 3 to 10.
TPF173 Lavender Hyssop ( Agastache foeniculum )
Attractive honey plant; produces abundant nectar which yields a light fragrant honey.
Strongly anise-scented, it is delightful for tea or as culinary seasoning.
Deer cannot stand the aromatic foliage.Beautiful, fragrant purple flowers growing 12-36" tall. Perennial. Zone 4-7.
FB153 Korean Bee Tree ( Evodia danielli )
Evodia is a little-grown tree 25 to 30 feet tall. It is a fast
grower with no pests, adapted to sunny, well-drained sites.
Small white flowers are produced in 4 to 6 inch wide corymbs
from June through August which attracts a great number of bees
and butterflies. These are followed by fruits which turn from
red to black from August through November.
Provides flowers and attractive fruit in a period when few
other woody plants are flowering. The plant fits well in
smaller gardens and closed areas. Good for zones 4-9.
3390 Catchfly ( Silene armeria )
An attractive annual or tender perennial native to Europe, but has naturalized throughout the United States. About 18" tall. The generous rosepink flowers are arranged in compact clusters radiating from a slender stem. Thrives in full sun or partial shade in various soil types. Makes a breathtaking display when planted in mass.
The stem exudes a sticky sap that captures small insects that try to steal nectar without pollinating the flowers. Hence, the common name Catchfly. This does not affect bees however, who love the plant.
GO72 Mosquito Plant
( Agastache cana )
This hardy perennial will
provide you with sweetly scented foliage and large 1" rosy-
purple flowers. It attracts hummingbirds, bees and
butterflies. The crushed foliage rubbed on the skin is said
to repel mosquitoes. Will flower first year if grown as an
annual, but best flowering is in second year in zones
HR370 Borage ( Borage officinalis )
Borage is one of the easier herbs to grow and it produces both edible flowers and leaves. The small star-shaped blue flowers are popular with bees. Sow borage seeds in their final location or in peat pots and/or peat pellets as borage does not transplant well. The leaves taste of cucumber and can be used in salads or drinks. For an extra decorative touch, freeze the borage flowers in ice cubes and serve with lemonade.
IP175 Boneset ( Eupatorium perfoliatum )
This remarkable flower is native to the Southern and Eastern United States. Boneset is large and showy, bearing masses of long-lived, white flowers which are truly unique. The butterflies and bees cannot leave these flowers alone!
They make a lovely addition to the wild flower garden or to the back of the perennial garden as they can reach 48 inches in height.
Historically, the Boneset plant was commonly used by some North American Indian tribes and lay herbal doctors for its properties as a febrifuge, laxative, stimulant, and diaphoretic. The Boneset herb was often used to treat flu epidemics, and still today, some use the dried leaves and flowering tops to make Boneset tea or tincture to treat colds and flu. Hardy to zone 3.
HR105 Lemon Balm ( Melissa officinalis )
Lemon scented leaves and sprigs
used to make teas and cool drinks. Good for potpourri and the
flowers attract bees.
1A009 Medico Alfalfa
( Medicago sativa )
Alfalfa produces a large
amount of nectar, which is highly attractive to many species
of bees, and from which honey bees produce excellent crops of
high quality honey. This strain of alfalfa can be made into a
tea by placing two teaspoons of dried leaves in a cup of
boiling water and soaking for 15 minutes. This tea is used to
treat arthritis, boils, digestive disorders, urinary tract
infections and bowel disorders. The chlorophyll in this brew
will also dispatch of bad breath. Eating the sprouts in
salads is also very beneficial.
1A008 Red Clover ( Trifolium pratense )
Clover is highly attractive to
bees, which visit it avidly for nectar and pollen. Red Clover
has long had a reputation as a cancer fighter. The plant
contains large amounts of tocopherol, a potent antioxidant
form of vitamin E that has been shown to prevent tumor
formation in animal studies. It may also provide effective
relief for menopausal symptoms as elements of the plant
behave like estrogen. A tea can be made by boiling three
teaspoons of dried flower tops per cup of water and steeping
15 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day.
HR229 English Thyme ( Thymus vulgaris )
Seasoning for poultry
chowders, stews, sauces and pickles. Good honey plant for
H883 Vitex ( Vitex negundo )
A magnificent garden plant, it blooms
profusely all summer attracting bees and butterflies. The
plants can achieve a height of 10 ft. or more. Plants are
used medicinally to relieve headaches, dizziness, colds and
3373 Slender False Foxglove ( Agalinis tenufolia )
This native plant is often grown as a summer annual but is really a perennial that is grown in zones 3-8. It is about 1-2' tall and usually branches abundantly. It is more or less erect. The slender stems are rather angular with flat ridges, green to reddish purple, and hairless to mostly hairless. The opposite leaves are up to 3" long and 1/8" across; they are green to purplish/reddish green, linear, glabrous, and sessile.
The nectar of the flowers attracts long-tongued bees (bumblebees, honeybees, and Large Leaf-Cutting bees), Panurgine bees (Calliopsis andreniformis & others), and butterflies.
The caterpillars of the butterfly Junonia coenia (Buckeye) feed on the foliage, while the caterpillars of the moth Rhodoecia aurantiago (Orange Sallow) bore into the seedpods. Mammalian herbivores may browse on the foliage of Slender False Foxglove, although it is reportedly toxic to sheep.
TRN595 Honewort ( Cryptotaenia canadensis )
For about a month in mid-summer, Honewort, a shade-loving perennial produces tiny 1/8 inch white flowers, splayed in the compound umbels that are characteristic of its carrot family. The blossoms are not fragrant or showy, but they are very attractive to a variety of native bees and butterflies.
TRN596 Turtlehead ( Chelone glabra )
This is a very nice addition to any butterfly garden. The white or blush pink snapdragon-like flowers add a marvelous late summer charm to the garden when few other plants are blooming. Flowers are borne in upright, terminal spikes atop plants that ultimately reach 3-4 feet tall.
Turtlehead grows well in rich, moist soil that ranges from neutral to slightly acid and thrives in part shade to full sun as long as there is adequate moisture. Turtlehead makes an excellent accent specimen in the naturalistic garden or along streams.
The foliage is deer resistant and is an important food and breeding source for butterflies.
A perennial plant for zones 4-8.
3353 Fragrant Butterfly Bush ( Buddleia Davidii )
Fragrant, shades of pink, purple, white, first year flowers in summer, the cornerstone of a butterfly garden. Perennial to zone 5. Grows about 4 feet tall.
IP229 Butterfly Hybrids ( Buddleia davidii )
This mix includes shrubs that will produce blooms in shades of pink, purple, and white that will flower the first year from seed.
If left unpruned shrubs can reach 7-10 feet and will produce long honey-scented blooms that resemble lilacs throughout summer.
Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, this easy to grow variety is hardy to zone 5 and thrives in average soil and full sun. Can be pruned in early spring to maintain a smaller size or left to grow to full height for the landscape or larger gardens.
3511 Miss Butterfly ( Buddleia davidii )
Miss Butterfly, a pale violet Buddleia absolutely covered in long, flower-packed stems from early summer until well into fall! Very easy to grow from seed, it is sweetly fragrant and an absolute joy in the sunny garden.
These flowering stems reach a foot long, pointed up and out all over this well-branched shrub. Butterflies flock to them, posing beautifully for you all day long! The blooms begin opening in midsummer in most climates, continuing through mid-fall where autumn is mild. The more you cut for the vase, the more you seem to see, this is an exceptionally heavy-blooming Buddleia, so you have plenty for cutting.
Miss Butterfly reaches about 7 feet high and 5 feet wide at maturity. For a bushier, fuller look and to promote heaviest flowering, cut this shrub down to 6 inches from the ground in late winter. Don't worry about such a severe prune, it pops right back up when the warm spring weather arrives!
IP236 Purple Butterfly ( Buddleia davidii )
A small butterfly bush growning only about 48 inches tall for a compact corner of the landscape. Provides attractive summer to early fall flowers when few other shrubs are in bloom. Grow in borders, cottage gardens, rose gardens or butterfly gardens. Popular fresh cut flower.
3507 Floristan White ( Liatris spicata )
A sun-loving delight in border and container, Floristan White sets a low-growing rosette of long, slender bright green leaves, topped by flower spikes that reach 2 to 3 feet high and are simply packed with gleaming white florets. The show begins in mid- to late summer in most climates, continuing through the first part of fall. This is a time when many gardens are craving some fresh, bright color. Rely on Floristan White to deliver it every time.
Because it is a selection of a native American plant, Floristan White is very well adapted to different garden conditions. It puts up with heat and periods of drought, especially if pampered the first year so that it establishes well in the garden.
Reaching 3 feet high and spreading 18 to 24 inches wide, it is a big presence in the border or meadow garden, every inch covered in color and visiting butterflies over a long season of bloom!
Floristan White was developed in Germany for the cut-flower market, but home gardeners quickly realized it was absolutely the best for their needs, too. This variety is easy to start from seed, growing easily and very dependable. Make it a mainstay of your cutting, butterfly, and native plant gardens! Zones 4-9.
Note: Cold stratifying seeds ( place seed pack in fridge for a few weeks ) will improve germination rate.
TPF113 Purple Coneflower ( Echinacea purpurea }
Echinacea purpuea is one of the great butterfly magnets of the native perennial garden. Coneflowers are easy to grow in average to dry, well drained soils. Flowers with large orange gold spiky centers and strong reflexed rose pink petals appear in July and August. Very drought tolerant.Easy to grow, used medicinally.
Plants are heat and drought tolerant, and blooms are used for cut and dried flower arrangements. The drug Echinacea, used to boost the immune system, comes from this genus. Divide clumps when they become overcrowded (about every 4 years). Plants usually rebloom without deadheading, however prompt removal of spent flowers improves general appearance. Freely self-seeds if at least some of the seed heads are left in place. Best suited for zones 4-9.
NP630 Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa )
A hardy perennial growing
to about 2 ft. tall with a profusion of flowers that attracts
butterflies of all types. At any given time you may see
species of Monarch, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Cabbage White,
Gray Hairstreak, Western Swallowtail, and many others feeding
on this plant. Cannot ship to HI
HR195 Sage ( Salvia officinalis )
The Sage herb has fragrant gray-green leaves and attractive mauve flower spikes in early summer. It's highly attractive to birds, bees and butterflies.
Use fresh or dried leaves to flavor pork, poultry, dressings,
sausages and just about anything!
Containing naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, the herb sage is best known as a culinary spice that adds flavor to poultry dishes. However, sage has been used for hundreds of years in folk medicine to treat a variety of different ailments. Most commonly drunk as a tea, sage herb is good for the nerves, digestive system and for balancing estrogen levels in women.
TRN493 Utah Service Berry ( Amelanchier utahensis )
A popular native shrub for its gorgeous fall foliage and deep burgundy-red new bark. Utah Service Berry has a showy spring display of white flowers, followed by summer ripening, purplish berries relished by bees and song birds. The small round leaves are glossy green in the summer and turn deep yellow to golden yellow in fall. Use it in hot, dry areas.
Note: These seeds need to be cold statified before
We recommend using the Seedman's Cold Stratification
Kits for cold stratification.
2713 Munstead ( Lavandula munstead )
The violet English Lavender has been a mainstay of herb gardens for many years. Despite its common name, it is not in fact native to England, but comes primarily from the Mediterranean region.
It was reportedly named English lavender because of its ability to grow well in the English climate.
This "true lavender" is commercially planted for harvesting its oils for use in perfumes.
It also grown for cutflowers, and it's atrraction for bees and butterflies.
cleaned seed, treated for fast,
uniform germination, grows 16 inches tall, hardy to zone 4.
HR167 Lemon Mint ( Monarda citriodora )
A wonderful annual that attracts beneficial insects. Monarda Citriodora is commonly called Lemon Bee Balm, Lemon Mint, and Purple Horsemint. As the name suggests, it is an herb in the mint family. Lavender-to-pink, tuft-like, whorled flower heads attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. The Lemon Mint herb plant blooms from spring into late summer. Often late in the season the scent is described as resembling oregano more than lemon. Plants will grow about 36" tall.
3492 Pink Pop ( Agastache astromontana )
A flower plant for all types of gardens, this super-long blooming perennial will delight you with bouquets of fragrant, lavender pink flower spikes from midsummer through early fall.
Butterflies and hummingbirds find this plant hard to resist! The abundant flowers are presented atop very well-branched stems lined with small, aromatic, grey-green leaves. The plants are very uniform and compact with a terrific upright habit.
This plant is perfect for growing in rock gardens, flower borders, cottage gardens, herb gardens, butterfly gardens, and large containers.
Pink Pop is a very tidy Agastache, staying in a rounded 18 inch mound. It has tall soft pink spikes that are very attractive to hummingbirds. It will bloom June-Oct with deadheading. The foliage has a spicy scent and the flowers are also spicy flavored, making them useful as garnish in salads.
It needs good drainage and prefers full sun, although will do well in hot areas with a bit of afternoon shade. This variety is seed grown, so dead heading early will assure that the plant doesn't self sow. It is a vigorous rebloomer if deadheaded.
Long flowering pink spikes, flowers summer first year, well branched, fragrant ( delightful old time flower garden fragrance ), for pot or garden. Flowers in 12 weeks. Grows about 14" tall. Good cutflower and potpourri plant. Perennial plant hardy to zone 6.
D2208CD Long Stemmed Black-Eyed-Susans ( Rudbeckia asteraceae )
Black Eyed Susans seem to attract the Great Spangled
Fritillary better than any other flower. This is just an
observation, not a documented fact. They are a good nectar
source for many species. This variety of Black Eyed Susans is
particularly well suited for cut flowers. Vase life is 6-10
BB100 Butterfly/Hummingbird Mix
mixture of flowers for attracting bees, small birds, hummingbirds and
Contains: Coneflower, Arroy Lupine, Mallow, Four-O'Clock, Nasturtium, Zinnia 'Pumila Mix', Bird's Eyes, Rocket Larkspur,
Sweet William Pinks, Spurred Snapdragon, Corn Poppy, Scarlet Sage, Catchfly, Balsam, Dwarf Columbine, Foxglove, Maltese Cross, Lemon Mint and Rocky Mountain Penstemon.
Sow seeds in February in South, April in the North.
2 ounce package of seeds will cover 300 square ft.
DCM011 Hummingbird Mix
This mixture provides a season-long smorgasbord of flowers for hummingbirds. If hummingbirds naturally occur in your area, this annual and perennial mixture will attract them to your garden.
Contains: Annual Phlox, Arroyo Lupine, Eastern Columbine, Four O' Clocks, Gayfeather, Giant Columbine, Lemon Mint, Perennial Lupine, Rocket Larkspur, Rocky Mountain Penstemon, Scarlet Sage, Spurred Snapdragon, Sweet William Pinks, Tussock Bellflower and Wild Petunia.
Sow seeds in February in South, April in the North.
2 ounce package of seeds will cover 500 square ft.
DCM015 Monarch Butterfly Garden Mix
If you love Monarch butterflies, then plant this mix in your garden to attract and nourish them. Consistent with the latest research about the declining Monarch population, this mix includes a wide range of bloom times, including spring and fall flowering varieties to accommodate butterflies that are no longer following traditional migration patterns.
The beautiful orange and black Monarch butterfly is one of the best known threatened butterfly species in North America. According to some of the latest surveys over 90% of the population has disappeared in the last decade mostly due to loss of habitat. Sprawling urban developments and intensive farming techniques mean fewer uncultivated margins where the milkweed species can thrive and provide habitat for the Monarch during its egg and larvae/caterpillar stages.
When the females cannot find suitable habitat to lay eggs, the life cycle is interrupted and the overall population decreases. While scientists have been aware for several years of the Monarch butterfly's life threatening situation and possible extinction, promoting public, government and industry awareness of the plight of this beautiful insect is probably the only thing that can lead to saving it.
This mix provides five species of milkweed (Asclepias) as well as a Butterfly Mixture that provides a variety of nectar-producing flowers that supply food for adult butterflies.
Milkweed (Asclepias species) is the only food source for Monarchs in their caterpillar state, and any garden devoted to butterflies will have Milkweed in abundance. This mix offers a bit of it as well, but it supplements with greater percentages of many other nectar sources (often more difficult for Monarchs to find) for spring, summer, and fall.
This mix contains: Bishop's Flower, Black-Eyed Susan, Butterfly Milkweed, California Poppy, Candytuft, Cornflower, Dwarf Cosmos, Lance-Leaved Coreopsis, Dwarf Godetia, Indian Blanket, New England Aster, Plains Coreopsis, Gayfeather, Purple Coneflower, Perennial Lupine, Purpletop, Shasta Daisy, Siberian Wallflower, Sweet Alyssum, and Sweet William Pinks.
2 ounce package of seeds will cover 300 square ft.