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  • Writer's pictureSusan Lute

In The Garden: Plants That Attract Bees, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds

Warmer days are coming to Oregon, and I'm starting to think about my garden and which plants attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. I'm kind of an odd gardener in that when I add a plant, it has to manage to survive our strange winters on its own (I live in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains). This year we didn't have heavy snow all at once, but snow one day, and rain the next. No ice storms. It was a little different. When I took inventory of which plants made it, one of my butterfly bushes was having a hard time, but it'll do fine. It always comes back from winter without any trouble, even after I prune it back.

So, the plants I have now that attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are Buddleia (what I call a butterfly bush), lilacs, old-fashioned roses, and ground fuchsias. This year I want to plant wildflowers, more ground fuchsias, and several different kinds of lavender, The wildflowers won't live through the winter, but the rest might if next year is mild enough and I put them in sheltered areas.

As I'm writing this, I doing a little research. Bees love Salvia, Nepeta, Lavender, and Monarda. Admittedly, I have to look some of these up to see what they look like. Salvia is a sage that grows 18 inches to 5 feet tall. It has tall spikes of lavender to purple flowers. Nepeta or Catmint (in the mint family) is a low-growing mounded plant with gray-green foliage and a variety of showy flowers, mostly shades of blue and purple. It is a perennial, which means it stays year around, a good candidate for my garden. In the lavender family, I'll be looking for English lavender. It's resilient and very drought-tolerant once established. Monarda is another mint family plant, also called Bee Balm. It comes in a variety of colors, is a perennial, and is liked by our three favorite pollinators—all requirements of plants I want in my garden.

Butterflies love, among other plants, Butterfly Bush, Lupine, and Snapdragon. I have several butterfly bushes in the garden and have had lupines and snapdragons. Once I organize the garden (I'm going to do some major changes this year—I hope), I'll add these two to the borders.

Hummingbirds love Lantana, Bee Balm, and Petunia (one of my favorites). Lantana is a perennial from the verbena family. They come in many colors, love the sun (so do I), and can get as big as shrubs.

The most interesting discovery of my research this morning is that there is one plant that attracts bees, butterflies, AND hummingbirds—Bee Balm, This year Bee Balm will be at the top of my list of new plants to add.

That's it for today. As always, have fun in your garden, even if you just have a garden in pots, and Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, BookBub, Goodreads, Amazon, and at You can contact me at

Happy reading.

XO Susan


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