Plants of the Week: 5 Fabulous Pollinators

Hello and happy Monday!

In honor of National Pollinator Week, I created a birdbath in my perennial/shrub garden, because pollinators need water too! I just used a plant stand I had in my shed, and topped it off with a large, ceramic platter we had stored away in our basement. My husband added the rock...I like it!

One thing to keep in mind, especially in our neck of the woods, water sources like the one I created should be emptied and refilled every few days so they don't become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Since it's National Pollinator Week, I thought I'd skip in the single plant of the week post in favor of writing about five great, no-fuss shrubs that the pollinators love. I hope you enjoy it!

It's National Pollinator Week! Of course, if you're a gardener, choosing plants that attract pollinators is something we just do naturally - but if you're looking to add some easy-to-grow pollinator friendly shrubs to your mix, there are many varieties that will brighten your landscape and attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and more. Here are five of my favorites:

Lil' Miss Sunshine®  Caryopteris
I just love blue in gardens, and this blue flower, mixed with bright chartreuse foliage, is hands down one of my favorites. Sunshine Blue® II, and the more compact Lil’ Miss Sunshine® Caryopteris has bright yellow foliage all summer with abundant blue flowers late summer. They are drought tolerant and deer resistant, making them super easy to grow. Sunshine Blue® II will get to be about 3' tall and wide and Lil’ Miss Sunshine® will reach heights/widths of  2.5 - 3'. Both should be planted in full sun, and are hardy in USDA zones 5 - 9. 

Fun fact, Caryopteris, AKA bluebeard, is also known as blue mist spirea, despite the fact that it is not remotely related to Spiraea.
Sugar Tip® Gold Hibiscus

Hibiscus is another plant that pollinators love. And it's not hard to see why, the big brightly-colored double blooms of the Sugar Tip® series of Hibiscus, set off with bold variegated foliage is indeed, attractive! But what I really love about the Sugar Tip® series of Hibiscus (other than the fact that it's gorgeous) is that they are seedless, so they're non-invasive.  

Sugar Tip®/Sugar Tip® Gold are hardy in USDA Zones 5 - 9 and should be planted in full sun. They will reach heights/width of 4 - 5'.

Scentlandia® Itea

Sweetspire is beloved for so many reasons: it’s native, shade tolerant, deer resistant, has handsome foliage, amazing fall color, very showy flowers, and of course, delicious fragrance for pollinators and humans alike!

Scentlandia® sweetspire will be available at garden centers in 2019 and is an improved version of the popular Little Henry® Itea. This cultivar is hardy down to USDA zone 5 and boasts brighter, more consistent fall color, along with a compact, refined habit - reaching heights/widths of 2-3'.

Double Play® Painted Lady® Spiraea
Long used as an attractive, durable landscape plant Spiraea is also a terrific pollinator-attractant. The Double Play® series of spirea are super-showy from first-bud to fall. With improved foliage and blooms, they are packed with summer flowers in colors ranging from pink to red, and boast a wide range of foliage colors. Making them even more low-maintenance, Proven Winners® ColorChoice® will release a new variety in 2019 called Double Play® Doozie® with gorgeous dark-red sterile flowers, meaning it reblooms all summer. 

I'm a sucker for variegated foliage, so the pictured variety is Double Play® Painted Lady® Spiraea. She has bright yellow and green foliage and hot pink flowers, and like the entire series can be planted in full-to-part sun. Reaching mature heights/widths 2'-3', you can expect these babies to be covered in bees and even the occasional hummingbird, all summer long.

Finally, you can't talk about pollinators without talking about Buddleia. I love the Lo & Behold® series of butterfly bush from Proven Winners® ColorChoice® because the whole series is non-invasive. We really don't have trouble with Buddleia reseeding here in Michigan, but for states like Oregon and Washington State, this cultivar is a game changer. And I hate to think that these amazing, pollinator-friendly plants aren't available for everyone to enjoy!

Pictured here, Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' butterfly bush has a neat, compact habit with attractive silver-green foliage. But what's really great about it is that it blooms weeks earlier than other Buddleia with flowers that are larger, bluer and more upright - attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds aplenty! Hardy in zones 5-9, Buddleia like to be planted in full sun - Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' will reach heights/widths of 18-30" and other plants in the series will get to be about 2.5-3' tall.

And that's it! Five fabulous pollinators for National Pollinator Week! 

Until next week, never stop growing - Natalie 


  1. creamppuff@gmail.com6/18/18, 5:56 PM

    Learn something new every time. Thanks!