The joy you get from watching a hummingbird zoom from one blossom to the next, or witnessing a monarch emerge from its chrysalis in your very own yard is one of the many benefits of gardening. Providing food sources for our pollinators is essential to the health and well-being of our ecosystem. In celebration of National Pollinator Week, we’ve complied a list of some of our staff favorites for attracting a variety of pollinators to your garden.

Annual Salvia

A favorite among several pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, it is known for attracting hummingbirds to the garden. Wendy, who works in the Annuals department in Aurora loves watching the hummingbirds flock to her annual salvia plants in her own yard. “Unlike the perennial salvia, these will bloom all summer long,” says Wendy. Denise from the Naperville Annuals department agrees it is one of her favorites. “I planted the Black & Blue salvia for the first time this year and immediately had hummingbirds feeding from it.”

Annual salvia is a fine choice for the garden when planted in groups or mass, but is also a good selection to plant in containers. Most varieties prefer full to part sun and sizes can range from 12 inches to 3-4 feet, depending on the variety.  Our annual salvia come in a range of colors, such as whites, pinks, reds, purples and blues. To offer continuous blooms, these plants benefit from deadheading spent blooms.



Also known as Butterfly Bush, you might guess why this is a perennial favorite for attracting pollinators.  Lee from the Naperville Perennials department loves her Miss Molly Buddleia in her own garden for it’s fragrant and showy panicles that attract a variety of butterflies to her yard. “While most people think of using Buddleia in the garden, smaller varieties, such as this Magenta Munchkin, also look beautiful in a larger container,” says Lee.

Buddleia prefers full sun and is adaptable to both dry and moist conditions. These perennials can be cut back in early spring as they grow vigorously on new wood. With a variety of colors and sizes, this low maintenance pollinator plant is sure to bring the butterflies to your yard.


Honeysuckle Bush

The sweet fragrance of the honeysuckle bush is irresistible to pollinators (and humans alike). It’s like a beacon for hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Beth from Trees & Shrubs in Aurora says, “I particularly love the Kodiak Black Honeysuckle Bush, not only because of its fragrant yellow flowers that bloom all summer, but it also offers great burgundy-black foliage in spring and fall.”

The Honeysuckle Bush is a tough adaptable plant that is great for challenging landscape areas. With a varieties of sizes and range of sun requirements, this pollinator-friendly shrub is definitely one to add to the garden.

Oak Tree

Native oaks are one of the best choices to add to the landscape if you want to attract pollinators. “Oaks support hundreds of pollinator species and beneficial insects,” says Maureen from our Naperville Trees & Shrubs department. Oak trees offer a safe habitat for many birds, butterflies and moths as well as provide winter shelter. While most people think of pollinator-friendly plants as having sweet nectar-filled flowers, native oak trees play a vital role in supporting our local pollinators.

Most oaks tend to have a slow growth rate, but that’s why Maureen says she likes the Red Oak as it offers a fast to medium growth rate. Oaks are a massive and stately shade tree with a wide-spreading habit of growth so they need a nice open area with full sun to perform well. Oaks offer great fall color and are extremely tough. Under ideal conditions, oaks can live hundreds of years. Plant these trees for the enjoyment of future generations.

Our Landscape Design Services

Do you want to create a pollinator garden but not sure how to pull it all together? Do you need some design help for an area in your yard? We can match your personal style with the right plants in the right place so you can enjoy your outdoor spaces more.

Visit our Landscape Design page for more information and to request and appointment.