Perfect Plants for Pollinators
Providing plants for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators is something many gardeners strive to do. This is an abbreviated selection of Florida-Friendly plants pollinators love.
Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) produces lovely flowers that can be appreciated by gardeners and pollinators alike. It is very easy to grow and is drought tolerant once established. Learn more with this fact sheet from UF/IFAS Extension Nassau County.
(Photo: Elmer Verhasselt, Bugwood.org)
Black-eyed Susan is a sunny wildflower that is easy to grow and tough as nails. Bees and butterflies love these flowers, which also can look great when cut and placed in vases. It's a good flower for coastal gardens, being tolerant of both drought and salt.
Cannas are heat-loving perennials that add lush color and texture to Florida gardens. The beautiful flowers come in shades of pink, yellow, orange, and red.
Coral honeysuckle is a native honeysuckle vine known for its bright red or yellow tubular flowers that bloom in spring and summer.
Gaillardia is a native perennial that has bright flowers that bloom through the summer and into the fall. Flowers come in a variety of forms and colors and the plants re-seed themselves.
Marigolds are reliable Florida annuals that bloom mainly in a range of yellows and oranges.
Nasturiums are annuals that grow in a dwarf or trailing forms and boasts numerous red, orange, or yellow flowers.
Passion flower is a perennial flowering vine. This plant can be grown easily and sports gorgeous large purple, lavender, or white flowers.
Pentas are perennial flowering plants that shine through the warm summer months and an array of reds, pinks, and purples. They are a favorite for butterflies.
Purple coneflower is a beautiful perennial that, despite its name, isn’t always purple (the native species is purple).
Salvias are great plants, and there are hundreds of annual and perennial species that come in an array of colors and sizes.
Sunflowers come in many cheerful varieties, some of which reach a height of eight feet or more when given the right conditions.
Basil is a beloved herb that adds a fresh spicy flavor to a variety of dishes, sauces, deserts, and beverages. Basils, especially African blue basil, is much beloved by pollinators as well as people.
Cilantro is an herb that bolts readily in Florida. The flowers are attractive and they are adored by bees and other insect pollinators.
Mint is an excellent herb for beginning gardeners. It’s easy to grow, attracts pollinators, and does well in Florida’s hot and humid weather. Keep an eye on this herb, as it can quickly spread throughout your garden.
Oregano is one of the most widely-used culinary and medicinal herbs worldwide and is equally loved by pollinators.
Rosemary is a pungent, evergreen herb that's great for cooking and very easy to grow. The narrow, needle-like leaves emit a sharp, somewhat pine-like aroma when crushed.
(Photo: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)
Shrubs and Trees
Buttonbush is a native shrub that grows best in wet conditions, making it ideal for bog gardens and pond landscaping. It attracts several different pollinators, including native bees.
Chaste tree is a large, deciduous shrub or small tree that puts on a show with attractive clusters of bluish-purple flower from spring to fall.
Saw palmetto grows wild in Florida's natural areas, but it's also a great plant for home landscapes throughout the state. (Photo of saw palmetto flowers: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org)
Sea grape is a native of coastal areas that features bold evergreen foliage and colorful fruits.
Walter’s viburnum is a Florida native that grows as a small tree or shrub and features a mass of small white flowers in the spring.