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Planting for Pollinators-Fall Blooming Perennials

Planting for Pollinators-Fall Blooming Perennials

Joy Boven, Perennial Manager at Bates Nursery, goes over ways to bring pollinators to the garden. She covers fall blooming perennials and annuals that are important food sources for pollinators. She also goes over the basic needs of pollinators, host plants, and how to successfully establish a pollinator-friendly garden. 



Plants Mentioned in this Webinar:


Salvia (hummingbirds love salvia)








Raydon's Favorite-Gets about 3'x3' 

October Skies-Gets about 2' x2'

New England Aster-Purple Dome

Aster tataricus Jindai (Butterflies and bees LOVE their blooms)



Eupatorium/Joe Pye Weed

Eupatorium maculatum-Gateway-gets 4-5' tall

Eupatorium maculatum-Phantom-gets 2-4' tall

Eupatorium dubium-More native to coastal areas, but does well in TN.

Eupatorium purpureum-Common native, will get 4-6' tall.




Salvia Black & Blue-Aggressive grower, but hummingbirds love it.




Solidago shortii 'Solar Cascade'-Native to KY/Illinois, but does well in TN.

Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' gets 2-3' tall and wide

Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece' 1-2' tall and wide

Solidago 'Little Lemon'-hybrid that stays around 1' tall




Autumn Joy-blooms in fall, loved by bees. 2'x2' tall. Very easy to grow.



Rudbeckia/Black Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta-Semi-hardy in TN. Reseeds easily. Blooms later than many other rudbeckia varieties.




Vernonia lettermannii- gets 2-3' tall. Produces seeds for the birds, and flowers for bees & butterflies.

Vernonia 'Iron Butterfly'-gets 2-3' tall. Exhibits more of a dense growing habit than the lettermannii variety.




Host plant for Monarch butterflies.

Asclepias incarnata

Asclepias tuberosa



Hosta/Plantain Lily

Not native, but blooms in the fall and does not spread aggressively.



Ceratostigma/Hardy Plumbago

Spreading groundcover-be sure to confine it with strong borders or in a container. Swallowtail butterflies love these blooms.



Perennials for the Birds:

Andropogon/Big Bluestem





Panicum/Switchgrass 'Shenandoah'

Panicum/Switchgrass 'Totem Pole' 

Panicum/Switchgrass 'Northwind'

Panicum/Switchgrass 'Cloud Nine'


Schizachyrium/Little Bluestem

Schizachyrium/Little Bluestem 'Prairie Blues'

Schizachyrium/Little Bluestem 'Twilight Zone'



Rudbeckia Hirta/Gloriosa Daisy


Eupatorium/Joe Pye Weed




Perennial Host Plants:

Host plants support the reproductive and life cycle of certain pollinators. 


Skipper Butterflies:


Schizachrium/Little Bluestem

Andropogon/Big Bluestem


Monarchs & Milkweed Tussock Moth:



Saddleback Caterpillar Moth:



Further Reading: 

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Birds



Bumble Bee

A poem by Kathy Jo Blake-Bryant


Bumble bee, bumble bee,

   You're as fuzzy as can be!

Your bumbly hum makes music sweet,

    A black and yellow society!


Bumble Bee, bumble bee,

   All the flowers depend on thee.

You share your pollen among them all,

   And do it oh, so willingly!


Bumble bee, bumble bee

    I'd love the countryside to see!

May I ride upon your back,

   Say, friend, what will be your fee?



"Poetree" © February 28, 2020


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