How To Attract Pollinators to Your Garden - Home & Texture
Garden Attracting Pollinators

Attract More Bees, Butterflies, and Birds to Your Garden With These Tips

Bring your garden to life this summer.

June 6, 2024 at 8:16 PM PST
Garden Attracting Pollinators

Attract More Bees, Butterflies, and Birds to Your Garden With These Tips

Bring your garden to life this summer.

June 6, 2024 at 8:16 PM PST

Who doesn’t love a garden bursting with life, color, and the company of nature’s tiniest-winged wonders? Bees, butterflies, and birds are great to have around because they give your garden and yard more personality. And they’re more than just pretty to look at, they also help pollinate plants, and contribute to your garden and the environment. If you’re looking to make your garden a welcome place for these pollinators, you’re in for a treat. Here are some tips to attract and support your buzzing, fluttering, and chirping friends.

Photo credit: Calvin Mano

1. Plant a pollinator buffet.

Think of your garden as the hottest new restaurant in town, but for bees, butterflies, and birds. To keep these guests coming back for more, you need a diverse menu of flowers. Aim for a mix of native plants that bloom at different times of the year. This way, your garden offers a continuous food source.

Bee Favorites

Bees are the VIPs of the pollinator world. They’re especially drawn to flowers that are blue, purple, and yellow. Some bee-loving options include:

  • Lavender: Not only will it make your garden smell amazing, but bees will also love it.
  • Sunflowers: These towering beauties provide both nectar and pollen.
  • Borage: With its star-shaped blue flowers, borage is a bee magnet.

Butterfly Best-Picks

Butterflies are whimsical and dreamy. They gravitate to brightly colored flowers and flat-topped clusters where they can easily land. Consider planting these.

  • Milkweed: This is a must for monarch butterflies, as it’s the only plant their caterpillars eat.
  • Coneflowers: These vibrant flowers are butterfly favorites and also attract bees.
  • Zinnias: Easy to grow and come in a variety of colors, perfect for attracting butterflies.
Photo credit: Taylor Foss

Bird Treats

Birds are the garden’s natural pest control, feasting on insects and providing delightful songs. Add some of these to your variety.

  • Sunflowers: Birds love the seeds.
  • Echinacea: These flowers produce seeds that attract finches and other small birds.
  • Holly: Provides berries for birds and shelter in the winter.

2. Create a watering hole.

Pollinators, like all living creatures, need water. Creating a small water source in your garden can make it even more attractive. You don’t need a fancy pond; a shallow dish with some stones for perching will do the trick. Just make sure to change the water regularly to keep it fresh and mosquito-free.

Bee Hydration Station

Bees need water not just to drink but also to cool their hives. A shallow birdbath with pebbles will provide a safe landing spot for thirsty bees.

Butterfly Sipping Spots

Butterflies enjoy sipping water from muddy puddles, where they also extract minerals. You can create a butterfly puddle by filling a shallow dish with sand and adding water to create a muddy consistency.

Bird Baths

Birds love a good bath. Place a bird bath in a quiet area of your garden, and you’ll soon see them splashing about and preening their feathers. For added detail, keep the bath elevated to prevent cats from sneaking up on your feathered friends.

3. Go pesticide-free.

Pesticides might be great for keeping unwanted pests at bay, but they can also harm the very pollinators you’re trying to attract. If possible, choose organic and natural methods of pest control. Companion planting, such as growing marigolds with your vegetables, can help repel harmful insects. Ladybugs and lacewings are natural predators that will keep aphids in check.

Bird shelter
Photo Credit: Ono Kosuki

4. Provide shelter.

Just like humans, pollinators need a place to rest and take cover from the elements. Incorporating different types of shelter into your garden will make it a welcoming space for them.

Bee Hotels

Bee hotels provide a nesting place for solitary bees, which are incredible pollinators. These bees don’t live in hives; instead, they seek out small holes in wood or stems to lay their eggs. You can buy a bee hotel or make your own using bamboo sticks or drilled logs.

Butterfly Houses

Butterflies need a safe place to rest during storms and at night. Butterfly houses with narrow slits provide protection while allowing butterflies to easily come and go.

Birdhouses and Feeders

Birdhouses offer a safe nesting place, while bird feeders stocked with seeds will keep your feathered friends coming back. Be sure to clean feeders regularly to prevent the spread of disease.



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