Limited Time Only. Free Delivery Coupon!

Today's Sale ! Save Big w/ *Free Delivery - Use Code: FREEDEL20 

Top Pollinators and How to Attract Them


Top Pollinators and How to Attract Them

Pollinators are beneficial creatures that play a role in helping plants grow. While some are beautiful and well-known to be helpful, not all pollinators are welcomed into people's gardens. Unfortunately, some pollinators, like bats, wasps, and flies, have a bad rap and many people want to get rid of them, not attract more. By doing this, gardeners are throwing off their backyard ecosystem and doing their plants a disservice. To help pollinators thrive, people should be able to identify some of nature's more common helpers and know how to encourage more to visit their gardens.


Bees are widely associated with pollination for a good reason. Honeybees, for example, pollinate 130 types of vegetables and fruits. They do this by spending most of their time busily collecting pollen and nectar from flowers. Because their bodies are short and covered with hair, they can collect large amounts of pollen. The pollen that sticks to the hairs and pockets on their bodies is taken back to the hive where it's turned into a source of food that helps feed larvae. The bees also transfer pollen to other flowers, often of the same kind, which results in cross-pollination and more flowers for you to enjoy.

How to Attract Them

In the United States, there are over 4,000 species of bees. Unfortunately, the number of bees is declining. To help protect bees, people can provide them with a safe environment. To attract bees, create a garden with flowers that are bright white, blue, or yellow and have a mild, fresh scent. People may plant flowers such as aster, foxglove, bee balm, and black-eyed Susan to encourage them to visit their gardens. It is also helpful to plant and grow a diverse assortment of flowers, including those that are native to the area.


Wasps have a lot of similarities with bees. They are members of the same order of insects known as Hymenoptera. They both sting, and they are both pollinators. Wasps are slender, have thinner and longer legs, and aren't hairy like bees. Because of their relatively smooth bodies, less pollen sticks to them, making them less effective at collecting it. The fig wasps, European wasps, and the common wasp are the best at pollination.

How to Attract Them

Wasps like sweet smells. People can use this to entice them to their gardens by choosing plants such as spearmint, sweet fennel, Queen Anne's Lace, or yarrow. Plants with extra nectaries will also attract wasps.


Butterflies are gorgeous creatures with patterned wings that people love to look at. They are also well-known pollinators that are found all over the world except in Antarctica. When a butterfly feeds, pollen from the flower sticks to its long, thin legs. Although their contribution to the pollination of plants is crucial, particularly with wildflowers and vegetable crops, they collect less pollen than bees because it doesn't stick to them in the same way.

How to Attract Them

Butterflies rely heavily on their vision. When creating a garden, choose flowers with flat landing pads that appeal to their sense of sight, particularly their ability to see colors. Bright colors, such as red, yellow, purple, orange, and pink, are appealing to butterflies. Choose plants that are excellent sources of sweet nectar and require full sunlight. Lavender, aster, and marigold are examples of plants that appeal to butterflies. Besides sources of food, gardens should also have plants for butterflies to lay their eggs in and where caterpillars can eat.

Other than flowers, people can attract butterflies by creating a spot that has wet sand. Keep this area wet as butterflies will gather there for puddling. When butterflies are puddling, they are extracting minerals and drinking from the wet spots in the sand. People may also take advantage of a butterfly's need for sunlight by placing flat stones in their gardens. Butterflies will land on them to rest and enjoy the warmth of the sun on their wings.


Moths, which look similar to butterflies, are also major pollinators. They differ from butterflies and bees in that many, pollinate during the night and they will often feed from plants that bees will not. The luna moth is an example of a nocturnal moth, while the Hummingbird moth is a type of moth that is active and feeds during the daytime.

How to Attract Them

To attract moths, you should plant flowers that are white, pink, or dull red. The flowers should have an ample amount of nectar and a scent that's strong but sweet. For night pollinators, choose flowers that release their scent at night. Examples of flowers that attract moths are common jasmine, tobacco, yucca, and morning glory. Besides flowers, use less gravel and other hard landscaping in the yard and plant a range of shrubs and grasses for caterpillars. Trees, such as oak, will also appeal to moths.


Beetles are essential to the pollination process and pollinate as much as 88 percent of flowering plants worldwide. There are many types of beetles; some are helpful and some are destructive. Although they help spread pollen, some also consume it. While most people are familiar with ladybugs, other popular pollinating beetles include soldier beetles, blister beetles, and soft-winged flower beetles.

How to Attract Them

Because beetles eat pollen, it's important to have flowers that also produce a lot of it and moderate amounts of nectar as well. Flowers should be wide and bowl-shaped with organs exposed to allow the beetles better access for feeding. Some beetles can see color, but in general they prefer white and dull green flowers. Because they rely on their sense of smell, odors ranging from rancid to fruity appeal to them. Examples of flowers that attract beetles are magnolias and goldenrod.


Most people think of flies as a nuisance rather than a benefit. Flies, particularly hover flies and blowflies, are some of the top pollinators after bees. The hair on their thorax and head can carry thousands of pollen grains that get transferred to other flowers as they travel. Unlike bees they can travel long distances and are more tolerant of cold, wet, and windy weather.

How to Attract Them

Because there are so many flies, there are various ways to attract them. Hover flies, which are some of the top pollinators, are attracted to pollen and nectar. Planting wild carrot, sweet alyssum, wild mustard, and Queen Anne's lace will attract hover flies to the garden.


Hummingbirds are a welcome sight in most people's yards. These attractive birds with their fiercely fluttering wings are often a joy for both adults and children. They are more than a pretty sight, however, as hummingbirds are also effective pollinators. Because they fly so swiftly, they reach between 1,000 to 3,000 flowers daily and require a lot of calories. As they travel from one flower to another feeding on nectar, they are picking up and transfering pollen along the way.

How to Attract Them

Hummingbirds are easy to attract as they prefer bright colors, particularly the color red. Planting flowers that are tubular and bright red is one of the best ways to bring hummingbirds to your yard. Columbines, cardinal flower, lupine, and trumpet vine are examples of flowers that will attract hummingbirds. You can also hang bright red hummingbird feeders full of sweet nectar for them to drink from.


Bats might not be the first pollinator that people think of, but they pollinate around 500 species of plants, including eucalyptus, bananas, and mangos. Wild agave, which is an ingredient in tequila, also relies on bats for pollination. Bat pollination is known as Chiropterophily, and it occurs when they carry pollen from their fur when they travel to new locations.

How to Attract Them

Bats pollinate at night and are drawn to pale nocturnal flowers that have a strong fragrance. Thyme, honeysuckle, and evening primrose are some plants that lure bats. Building a tight space as a place for bats to roost is another way to attract bats to one's yard. It should be on a pole that's no less than 12 feet high.

Additional Resources

Recently Viewed

Nothing viewed yet.

If you're shopping for a florist sale "near me" to order and send same day flowers today, take a look at our online flower store delivery service and discover that it is the best and cheapest option.