With bees and other pollinator populations at risk, it’s important that we do what we can to help out local bugs and birds. Planting the flowers that they need is an easy way to help these critters out, and you can do it even in a small container garden. As a bonus, if you attract pollinators to your yard they will help the rest of your garden grow and produce better crops, deter pests, and provide you with hours of amusement as you watch bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds flit around.
Growing plants that attract pollinators is good for them, you, and your garden. Lending pollinators a helping hand by providing them with a food source in the garden means that they will help your garden grow through pollination and help out by eating up some pests while they’re at it.
That’s why I put together this instant pollinator garden kit, which includes small-space plants that attract beneficial bugs and birds and a two-story insect hotel.
This beneficial bug hotel provides a safe space in your garden for insects to develop from egg to adulthood, where they can facilitate the reproduction of flowering plants.
The top section of this hotel is for solitary bees to pollinate your garden. The bottom section is for lacewings and ladybugs, all of which will act as beneficial protectors by preying on garden pest insects. The roof provides weather protection and is built to last outdoors through inclement weather.
Now, here are the seeds that I chose to include in my Patio Pollinators Garden Kit. These plants are All-America Selections Winners that are great for small spaces and containers and are sure to attract a crowd of beneficial insects to your garden.
I chose the seeds very carefully, with help from an entomologist and a flower farmer, both of whom work at GardenTrends where the seed collection is exclusively available.
Asian Garden Celosia
This celosia is a pollinator magnet for the whole season! Its bright pink spikes bloom all summer long, holding up even through early frosts. Celosias thrive in high-heat situations and produce long-lived blooms that add color to gardens and combination planters for the majority of the gardening season. Attracts: bumblebees and other wild bees.
Summer Jewel™ Lavender Salvia
Hummingbirds love this pretty purple plant! Salvia Summer Jewel flowers early and produces generous spikes that continue to blossom from spring to autumn. Plants are densely branched, producing a tidy habit that thrives in both garden beds and containers. Attracts: honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Purple Majesty Ornamental Millet
This pretty plant makes an excellent focal point that attracts bees and looks amazing in the garden or planted in a container. Gorgeous deep purple foliage and stems add interest even when it’s not blooming, and the dramatic flower plumes make for a vibrant display. Plant these behind shorter plants for an eye-catching display. Attracts: bees.
Super Hero Spry Marigold
Deep red flowers with vibrant orange centers are visually stunning, and they are like a beacon to mid-summer bumblebees. This marigold variety is ideal as a standalone in planters or as an accent filler in mixed containers. Attracts: bumblebees.
Profusion Double Hot Cherry Zinnia
The vibrant cherry-red color of this bold zinnia does not fade! The intense red hue will encourage butterflies, moths, and bees to visit your garden. This highly prolific bloomer grows exceptionally well in planters due to its combined tolerance for both cool and hot, humid conditions. Attracts: bees, butterflies, and moths.
Sparkler Blush Cleome
Gorgeous pink and white flower spikes will attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The delicate colors and unique shape makes this a beautiful focal point for any container. This Cleome is a dwarf variety that grows to about 1/2 to 2/3 the size of traditional Cleomes, yet it still attracts a host of pollinators! Attracts: bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.