The following list is a companion blog to the “Celebrate Pollinators” blog. The plants listed are only a few of the hundreds of plants that support our native pollinators. The list provides suggestions for nectar plants, as well as some butterfly host plants.
In choosing plants for your pollinators, avoid plants that have been treated with systemic pesticides in the nursery. Ask nursery staff!
Principle #1 in Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ is “Right Plant-Right Place”. If you are not familiar with a particular plant, a little research into its growth habits and needs will save you money and labor!
Explore these and other plants for your “living” landscape, and Happy Gardening!
Perennials, Annuals, Vines, and Shrubs
The following list of flowering nectar plants (separated by flower color) will indicate if they are a Florida native plant and which season they bloom in (spring, summer, fall, and/or winter).
Yellow flowering plants:
- Rosinweed is native and blooms in summer and fall
- Coreopsis is native and blooms in summer and fall
- Black-eyed Susan is native and blooms in spring and summer
- Goldenrod is native and blooms in summer and fall
- Greeneyes is native and blooms in spring and summer
- Prairie coneflower blooms in summer
- A few other yellow flowering plants include sunflower, zinnia, and snapdragon
Pink flowering plants:
- Georgia calamint is native and blooms in summer
- Dotted horsemint is native and blooms in summer and fall
- Pink coneflower is native and blooms in summer and fall
- Pink penstamon is native and blooms in summer and fall
- Pink coccinea sage is native and blooms in spring, summer, and fall
- Beautyberry is native and blooms in spring
- Other pink flowering plants include pink pentas and whirling butterflies
White flowering plants:
- Snow squarestem is native and blooms in summer and fall
- White false indigo is native and blooms in spring
- White heliotrope is native and blooms in spring, summer, and fall
- White penstamon is native and blooms in summer
- Native blueberry blooms in spring
- Native viburnum species bloom in summer
- Native Simpson’s stopper blooms in spring
- A few other white flowering plants include zinnia, sweet allysum, and white pentas
Blue, Purple, and Lavender Flowering Plants:
- Aster species is native blooms in summer and fall
- Skullcap species is native and blooms in spring and summer
- Stokesia is native and blooms in summer and fall
- Native porterweed blooms in spring, summer, and fall
- Verbena is native and blooms in spring and summer
- Skyblue clustervine is native and blooms in winter
- A few other purple and blue flowering plants include annual and perennial salvias (like the cultivar ‘Mystic Spires’ and others), anise hyssop, plumbago, and chaste tree
Red and Orange Flowering Plants:
- Red coccinea sage is native and blooms in spring, summer and fall
- Firebush is native and blooms in summer and fall
- Gaillardia is native and blooms in spring, summer, and fall
- Coral honeysuckle is native and blooms is spring, summer, and fall
- Cuphea species bloom in spring, summer, and fall
- ‘Red Rocket’ firecracker blooms in summer and fall
- A few other red flowering plants include red pentas, zinnia, and jatropha
Butterfly Host Plants (and the butterfly species they support):
Native Passionvine species
- Supports: Zebra Longwing Butterfly, if planted in shade/semi- shade
- Supports: Gulf Fritillary Butterfly, if planted in a sunny area
Native Milkweed species
- Recommend native milkweeds vs. tropical milkweed
- Supports: Monarch and Queen Butterflies
- Can be used as a turf substitute
- Supports: White Peacock and Phaon Crescent Butterflies
- Supports: Orange Barred Sulfur, Cloudless Sulfur, and Sleepy Orange Butterflies
- Avoid Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex), listed as an invasive species. See the IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas.
- Supports: Common Buckeye and White Peacock Butterflies
- Can be used as a turfgrass substitute
- Supports: Common Buckeye Butterfly
Herbs: Parsley, Dill, Fennel
- Supports: Black Swallowtail Butterfly
- Select native species
- Supports: Pipevine and Polydamus Butterflies
Native Wild Lime, Toothache Tree, Wafer Ash
- or Hop Tree (this species is thornless)
- Supports: Giant Swallowtail
To learn more:
- Pollinator Partnership
- Xerces Society
- Florida Wildflower Foundation
- Florida Native Plant Society
- UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions: Gardening for Bees
- UF/IFAS Extension/Ask IFAS: Attracting Native Bees to Your Florida Landscape
This article was written by Master Gardener Volunteer Molly Griner under supervision of the Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator and Residential Horticulture Agent Anne Yasalonis.
For more information, contact UF/IFAS Extension Polk County at (863) 519-1041 or visit us online at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/polk. The Plant Clinic is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm to answer your gardening and landscaping questions. Give us a call, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not in Polk County, Contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Clinic.
The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a volunteer-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the citizens of Florida. The program extends the vision of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, all the while protecting and sustaining natural resources and environmental systems, enhancing the development of human resources, and improving the quality of human life through the development of knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and making that knowledge accessible.
An Equal Opportunity Institution.