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Best plants for pollinators in the winter garden

Pollinators have a hard time finding food once all the spring flowers have died and gardeners focus on their winter crops but we could still use their services. Bees prefer the bright white, yellow and blue flowers while butterflies look for bright red and purple flowers.

Here is a list of plants that can brighten up your fall/winter garden as well as provide food and shelter for your hard workers.

1. Agastache (Hummingbird Mint)-  Blooms through fall providing nectar to hummingbirds and butterflies. ‘Blue Fortune’ the dwarf variety only gets 3-4′.
2. Bluebeard – Bees love this late summer bloomer.
3. California Goldenrod – Late bloomer that provides food to the three B’s! Bees, Birds and Butterflies.
4. Coreopsis Lanceolata – Good source of nectar that blooms well into summer with regular deadheading. 
5. Gallardia – Oranges and Lemons as well as the dwarf goblin are long bloomers with deadheading.
6. Prince Calico Aster – Native to North America, blooms late summer through fall, attracts bees and butterflies.
7. Rosemary – A great choice for bees that blooms late into the season and adds great flavor in recipes.
8. Rudbeckia –  Late season bloomer, provides food for butterflies.
9. Scabiosa (Pincuchion Flower) – Butterfly Blue attracts just what it’s name suggest and with deadheading will bloom throughout summer into fall.
10. Yarrow (Moonshine) – Great food source for native pollinators that blooms through summer.

One comment

  1. Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    Great post! This was brought up at our bee guild meeting last night. The bees are still very much trying to stock up on reserves for winter, but at this time of year, nectar is much more scarce. The more blooms we make available in the late season, the better the chance the bees will have enough reserves to sustain them through the winter, and as gardeners, we have the extra bonus attracting pollinators to our fall gardens. A couple of late-blooming natives to add to your list would be California fuchsia (Zauschneria californica), and our native buckwheats (Eriogonum sp.)