Your food garden has certain plants that require pollination. Even though you can sometimes do this by yourself, you might just want to entice natural pollinators like bees to perform the job for you. So what are the best pollinator plants for vegetable garden?
Growing specific flowers in your yard might aid in pollination. Still, you must choose the appropriate ones and avoid any that might be ineffective. For crops like cucumbers and squash, as well as any fruit you may be growing, pollinators are required.
Insects that will facilitate the process should be encouraged! That way, when they collect nectar and pollen from one plant, they can transfer it to another, promoting the growth of your food garden.
Lavender, sunflowers, and geraniums are a few flowers you may grow to make sure you draw pollinators. If you have space, you should plant these flowers in and along the outside perimeter of your garden.
Pollinator Plants: What are They?
The nectar and pollen needed for a thriving pollinator population are provided by pollinator plants, also known as pollinator-friendly plants. Pollinator plants are flowering perennials, annuals, or shrubs. Hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other helpful insects are examples of pollinators. Maintaining a healthy pollinator population through pollinator plants enables crops and flowers to continue to produce seeds and fruits through insect pollination (as well as a healthy garden and vibrant ecosystem).
Some of the best pollinator plants for vegetable garden are relatively easy to grow as well! Perfect for the beginner gardener! Looking for a great beginner pack of seeds to attract pollinators? Here’s my recommendation!
Best Pollinator Plants for Vegetable Garden
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The robust, compact, dense Sedum attracts bees with its rich rose blossoms, and the astute gardener will notice its succulent foliage’s chocolate tint. These get 15″ tall and wide. They’re best grown in zones 4-9.
Because they are simple to slip into plants and may fill the spaces between other plantings with lovely foliage and pollinator-friendly flowers, I especially appreciate the groundcover varieties of Sedum. Since windy conditions make it difficult for bees to pollinate flowers, the closer the blossoms are to the ground, the better.
Milkweed features narrow, conifer-like leaves and a dense growth habit. More impressive than the species type is the white blossoms. Perfect for gardens with wildlife, butterflies, and pollinators in warm climates. They can get 3′ tall and wide. These are best grown in zones 9-11.
Even while milkweed is perhaps best known for being the only plant that monarch butterfly larvae can eat, it is also a fantastic source of nectar for many other butterflies and bee species.
To support monarch butterflies in your area, it’s crucial to grow native varieties. Search here to find a milkweed variety that will grow in your location.
Hummingbird Mint (Agastache)
Agastache is a water-efficient perennial that blooms profusely and is ideal for gardening in hot, dry regions. Summer through September sees the upright flowers blossom in various gold hues. They get up to 26 “wide and in height. Agastache is best grown in zones 5-10.
Goldenrod attracts pollinators easily and offers much-needed color and nectar toward the conclusion of the growing season. The plant is covered in yellow-gold, flattened panicle flowers at the end of the summer and throughout the fall. They can grow to 2′ broad by 3′ height maximum. They’re best grown in zones 4-8.
I adore the fluffy, bright-gold blossoms of goldenrod and how carefree it looks in perennial landscapes. Goldenrod is a crucial food source for many kinds of bees, beneficial wasps, and flies, as well as for monarch butterflies migrating in the fall.
Bluebeard, a low-water, simple-to-care-for shrub, is an excellent addition to pollinator, prairie, and wildlife gardens in cool to warm regions. The rich blue blossoms stand out dramatically against the green leaves, lighting up the yard. They can get as large as 30″ in width by up to 36″ high. They’re best grown in zones 5-9.
Late summer and into the fall is when Caryopertis blossoms. When pollinators need nectar the most and have fewer options in the fall, they are a fantastic supply.
An annual without seeds, the sunflower blooms profusely from spring until the first frost. Crimson striations surround the brown center on the yellow petals. These cheerful flowers are a favorite nectar source for bees. They grow up to 40″ broad and 32″ in height. Every zone has it growing as an annual.
In my opinion, sunflowers are the garden’s happiest flowers. They provide native bees and honeybees with a lot of nectar. Sunflowers are one of the best late-season nectar sources because of how many blossoms it produces and how late it blooms.
A low-maintenance variation that closely resembles the original species is the coneflower (making it perfect for pollinators and wildlife). The petals of the magenta-rose blossoms are horizontal rather than pendulous, giving them a huge, bold appearance in the landscape. A favorite of butterflies! They grow up to 3′ tall and width maximum. You can grow them in zones 4-9.
Numerous Echinacea types on the market are suitable for every garden, and the majority of them bloom for an incredibly long time while also giving bees access to nectar and pollen. Coneflower EvolutionTM ColorificTM is a reliable performer and a prolific bloomer in almost any garden in zones 4-9.
English lavender is a fragrant, compact type that requires little water and produces many blooms that draw pollinators. It a popular for tight places, rock gardens, and containers. They grow up to 12″ broad and 18″ tall. You can find them in zones 5-9.
I adore adding lavender to my herb and perennial beds. The blooms have a wonderful scent, and it is fascinating to see the bumblebees enjoying them while wearing their “pollen pants.”
California Lilac (Ceanothus)
An evergreen shrub called California Lilac is perfect for giving color and a tall, sturdy foundation to warm coastal gardens. In the spring, the shrub is covered in blue flowers that provide an abundance of nectar when pollinators become busier. They grow to 12′ in width and up to 9′ in height. You can find them in zones 8-10.
Ceanothus is covered in stunning blue blossoms that almost seem to pulse with pollinators in the spring. Additionally, this shrub earns points for having lovely, glossy, dark green evergreen leaves!
Pollinators and helpful insects enjoy yarrow’s canary-yellow blossoms, ferny, gray-green foliage, upright stems, and blooms. This perennial requires little care and uses little water, making it ideal for the hot, dry summers in the west. 2′ tall and width maximum. Zones 3-9.
Hoverflies, lacewings, and ladybugs, consuming plant pests like aphids, mealybugs, and mites, are attracted greatly by achillea. Their distinctive flat flowers and fern-like foliage give the landscape a truly beautiful texture.
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