Pollinator Plant Picks

You can buy a balanced mix of plants with a range of bloom-times through Northeast Pollinator Plants or American Meadows, which sell native pollinator plant packs or seed mixes of different sizes.

NOTE: Be sure to always select the Northeast Region when searching for native plants, as many online nurseries provide native plants to gardeners across the United States. What's native to Montana may be ecologically disruptive in New York.

Quick Start Based on Planting Conditions

Choose the list that best matches your garden space and select a few plants with different bloom times.

View a spreadsheet of the plants suggested below (including bloom time, light needs, height, spacing, and pollinator benefits).

Check out the handy graph at right, which gives a color/bloom time/height visual (click on arrow to expand).

For a deep dive, explore more resources at the bottom of the page, and see our Sourcing Plants page for additional info.

Native_Perennial_Height_Bloom_Schedule.pdf

Good for Containers

These more compact, drought tolerant plants work well in containers - or in the ground.

Early Bloomers

Cranesbill (Geranium maculatum)

Creeping Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans)

Mid-Season Bloomers

Lance-leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Canada Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Mid-to-Late Bloomers

Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea)

Purple Bee Balm (Monarda Media)

Late Season Bloomers

Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides)


Medium Full-Sun Plants

Ranging from 1-4' in height, these sun-loving plants are at home in the ground in most gardens.

Early Bloomers

Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Mid-Season Bloomers

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Wild Bergamot (Mondarda fistulosa)

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Late Season Bloomers

Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)

Large Full-Sun Plants

Growing up to 4-8', these plants need more room, but can be used sparsely in smaller gardens.

Early Bloomers

Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Mid-Season Bloomers

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

Asclepias syrica (Common Milkweed)

Mid-to-Late Bloomers

Eastern Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Purple Bee Balm (Monarda Media)

Spotted Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum)

Sweet Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

Late Season Bloomers

New England Aster (Symphiotrichum novae-angliae)

Stiff leaved goldenrod (Solidago rigida)

Blue Stem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)


Shade Loving Plants

Not all pollinator-friendly plants need full sun. These plants prefer - or can tolerate - shadier spots.

Early Bloomers

Cranesbill (Geranium maculatum)

Creeping Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans)

Mid-Season Bloomers

Lance-leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Canada Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Mid-to-Late Bloomers

Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea)

Purple Bee Balm (Monarda Media)


Some Comprehensive Native Plant Lists and Guides

Before planting, research! Find out about your chosen plant's sun and water requirements as well as the variety of species it supports. Learn more:

Pollinator Pathways Native Plant Lists

Xerces Society Pollinator Plants Northeast

Northeast Pollinator: Planting for Pollinator's Guide

Audubon Society Native Plants for Birds by Zip Code

USDA Native Plants Database

Plant This, Not That (Native alternatives for landscaping)

Native Plant Trust: Natives vs. Invasives Reference Guide

NOTE: You may be tempted by "deer-proof" non-natives; there are many native plants that deer find unpalatable. See: Rutger's University Deer Resistant Plant Database