Plants for Year-Round Pollinator Foraging
Updated: Aug 9
Plants for Year-round Bee Forage, from the University of Georgia Honeybee Program
As you're starting to think about Spring planting, think about planting more plants for our pollinators. This is an incomplete list of both wild and commercially available plants that are important sources of pollen and nectar for pollinators in the South.
It is important for bees, especially bumble bees, to have an unbroken succession of bloom all summer to build up their local populations. If you want to encourage bee populations, grow or encourage plants from this list so that bloom is more-or-less continuous on your property.
It's important to note that the use of wild or native plants are the most advantageous to native pollinators, as they have co-evolved together. Native plants tend to be more nutritious and less toxic to the native insect, spider and bird populations.
Feb- Red Maple, Acer rubrum, native
Feb/Mar- Redbud tree, Cercis canadensis, native
Titi shrub, Cyrillic racemiflora, native coast
Mar- Native Blueberry shrub, Vaccinium elliottii, native
Mar/Apr- Henbit per. herb, Lamium amplexicaule, native
Jessamine shrub, Gelsemium sempervirens, nat.
Apr- Tupelo tree, Nysa sylvatica, coastal, rivers, native
Apple tree, Malus app., Commercial and native
Black Locust tree, Rubinia pseudoacacia, native piedmont and upper south
Blackberry shrub, Rubus argutus, native, esp in piedmont
Apr/May- Common Ajuga, per. herb Ajuga reptant, comm.
Crimson clover, annual Trillium incarnatum, comm. forage
Dutch clover, per., Trifolium repens, comm., native
Red clover, per., Trifolium pratense, comm. forage
Skip Laurel shrub, Prunus laurocerasus, comm.
Tulip poplar tree, Liriodendron tuplifera, native
May- Gallberry shrub, Ilex glabra, native, coastal plain
Honeysuckle shrub, Lonicera fragrant-sima, native
Privet shrub, Ligustrum sinense, native esp. Piedmont
Rhododendron shrub, Rhododendron catawbiense, natives in mountains and commercial elsewhere.
May/June- Cabbage Palmetto, per.Sabal palmetto, native, coastal plain
Persimmon shrub/ tree, Diospyros virginiana, native
Tallow tree, Sapium sebifrum, comm.
Jume- Heavenly Bamboo shrub, Nandina domestica, comm.
Jun/Jul- Bee balm, per. herb, Monad didyma, native and comm.
Chaste tree, Vitex agnuscastus, comm.
Sourwood tree, Oxydendrum arboreum, native Piedmont
Sumac shrub/ tree, Rhus copallina, native Piedmont
Sunflower, ann., Helianthus app., Comm. and native
Jun/Aug- Brazilian verbena, ann/per., Verbena bonariensis, comm.
Butterfly bush, Buddleia davidii, comm.
Crapemyrtle shrub/ tree Lagerstroemia indica, var. "Natchez", comm.
Glossy Abelia shrub, Abelia grandiflora, comm.
Mountain Mint, per. herb, Pycanthemum incanum, comm.
Purple coneflower, per. herb, Echinacea purpea, comm.
Wood Mint, per. herb, Blephilia app. Native
Jun/Sep- Sweet Pepperbush, Clethora alnifolia, native, coastal plain
Jul- Buttonbush, shrub/tree Cephalanthus accidentalis, native
Jul/Sept- American Germander, per. herb, Teucrium canadense, native
Cup Rosinweed, per. herb, Siliphium perfoliatum, native
Milweed, per. herb, Asclepius spp., native
Partridge Pea, ann. herb, Cassia fasciculata, native
Redroot, per. herb, Lachnanthes caroliana, native, wetlands
Aug- Meadow Beauty, per. herb, Rhesia spp., native
Aug/Sep- Bush Clovers, shrub, Lespedeza bicolor and L. thunbergii, comm.
Aug/Oct- Brazilian Pepper shrub, Echinus terebinthifolius, native
Mexican Sage, per. herb, Salvia leucantha, comm.
Mexican Sunflower, ann., Sithonia rotundifolia, comm.
Pineapple Sage, ann./ per. herb, Salvia elegans, comm.
Thoroughwort, per. herb, Eupatorium hyssopifolium, native
Aug/Nov- Asters, per. herb, Aster spp., native
Colorado River Hemp, shrub, Sesbania exaltata, comm, native
Sep/Oct- Goldenrod, per herb, Solidagosp. native
Kenaf, ann., Hibiscus Cannabinus, comm.