Learning Center


Pollinator Plants for Arkansas Gardens


Butterflies, birds, and bumblebees! These creatures bring an element of wonder to the flower garden and help pollinate our fruit and vegetable patches. With a little planning, you can invite pollinators into your garden and appreciate their beauty all season. In addition, creating a hospitable environment for pollinators in your backyard helps to support their populations in a time of habitat loss.  Keep reading to learn more about pollinator plants for Arkansas gardens!  Want to learn more details about pollinators in general? Read our recent blog post here.

Garden Planning

  • Pollinators often have local favorites that bloom when the insect is active in our area. Want to attract a favorite butterfly?  Look up its favorite food and plant that in your yard!
  • Plant a variety of flowers to attract different kinds of pollinators. For example, hummingbirds eat from long, tubular flowers.  In contrast, bees often need shorter-tubed flowers to pollinate.
  • Go big! Plant large clumps of pollinator-attracting plants, instead of just one, to encourage feeding.
  • Consider bloom times for the plants you’ve picked out. Do you have flowers that bloom in spring, summer, and fall? Providing food sources across the year will keep pollinators coming!
  • Want to attract mammal pollinators, like hummingbirds or bats, to your yard? Consider adding structures like a bat house or a supplemental nectar feeder.
  • Take care with pesticides that might harm your pollinator friends.  Be sure to follow the labeled instructions exactly and only use them when necessary.

Plants to Try!

Planting for pollinators allows for a lot of creativity in the garden. You can choose between annuals, perennials, and shrubs. And you can attract pollinators with sun or shade gardens. Below, we’ve listed some suggestions to get you started.

To attract bees:

Agapanthus, asters, basil, bee balm, cestrum, cosmos, cuphea, geranium, hyssop, Joe-Pye weed, lavender, peas, rosemary, sage, squash, sunflower, verbena, zinnia

To attract hummingbirds:

Agapanthus, bee balm, bleeding heart, cardinal flower, cestrum, fuchsia, geranium, gladiolus, rose of sharon, snapdragon, penstemon, phlox, sage, trumpet vine, Turk’s cap

To attract butterflies:

Azaleas, blueberries, butterfly bush, butterfly weed, cardinal flower, coneflower, coreopsis, cosmos, impatiens, lantana, marigold, privet, salvia, sedum, Turk’s cap, zinnia


Butterfly Gardening post