5 Container Annuals That Attract Pollinators - Backyard Boss
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5 Container Annuals That Attract Pollinators

For many gardeners, attracting pollinators to their landscape is a top priority. By including flowers that are native to the region and popular among both honeybees and butterflies, they can support your local wildlife while also providing you with gorgeous blooms in return.

Container annuals are a great way to promote pollinator activity without taking up too much space. And there are plenty of options for creating an inviting environment for these helpful creatures! Read on to discover the most popular five container annuals that have proven successful in luring in buzzing bees and flitting butterflies.


Garden cosmos pink variety
Image credits: Manfred Richter via Pixabay

Cosmos are a lovely supplement to any garden! Not only do these annuals produce stunning pinks, reds, purples, and whites — but also attract birds, bees, and butterflies. You can plant these easy-to-grow plants in borders or containers, and they make a great decoration for flower arrangements with their long stems.

These resilient flowers require minimal care, making them ideal for novice gardeners. For best results, fertilize your Cosmos in the spring with organic matter. Plant your cosmos in an area that receives full sun or partial shade.

Thanks to its drought-tolerant qualities, Cosmos is the perfect choice for those who don’t want to spend too much time tending to their garden. It grows between 1 and 4 feet tall and sprawls outward up to 3 feet so you’ll have plenty of lovely blooms in no time. With Cosmos in your garden, you can get ready for a summer full of beauty!


Nasturtium growing on a fence
Image credits: Pasja1000 via Pixabay

Nasturtiums are bold and beautiful annuals that produce abundant blooms in various shades. These edible flowers have a peppery flavor, which makes them perfect for adding to salads or garnishing dishes. Nasturtiums attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.

Nasturtiums are a great choice for gardeners looking to add some low-maintenance beauty to their outdoor spaces. Whether you choose to sow the seeds directly into your beds or planters or opt for transplanting, they’re a surefire way to bring color and texture to your garden. With trailing varieties getting up to two stories in height, there’s no shortage of decorative potential. To ensure your nasturtiums thrive in any environment, provide them with adequate space and nutrition. In containers, fertilizing once per week with a 12:9:6 quick-release fertilizer keeps them healthy.


Zinnia orange flower
Image credit: Hermann via Pixabay

Zinnias are one of the most popular flowers for adding a burst of color to garden beds and containers. With bright, bold colors and an easy-care routine, they are great additions to any outdoor space.

To ensure that your zinnia blooms remain vibrant and beautiful all season long, give them plenty of direct sunlight each day (six or more hours.) Make sure the soil is moist but well-draining. Water regularly if it doesn’t rain and fertilize at least twice during the growing season using a balanced granular or water-soluble fertilizer.


Nicotiana alata
Image credits: MNStudio via Shutterstock

Nicotiana, also known as the tobacco plant, is a delightful addition to any garden. It features fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers that come in a range of beautiful colors.

Deadheading will encourage continuous bloom throughout the summer months. Nicotiana also enjoys a sunny position in moist but well-drained soil and prefers partial or dappled shade for the best results. With its easy upkeep and stunning beauty, Nicotiana makes an excellent choice for those looking to attract pollinators like butterflies and bees!

Caution: Some compounds in this plant can be dangerous if ingested or absorbed through the skin, so it is important to handle Nicotiana plants with care.


potted petunias outside
Image credits: CongerDesign via Pixabay

These vibrant annuals come in an array of colors and sizes, making them easy to mix and match with other plants and flowers. Plus, some varieties even boast a light fragrance that will delight both you and your neighbors!

Their height can range anywhere from 6 to 18 inches, while they spread along the ground from 18 inches to 4 feet. This gives you plenty of options when it comes to landscaping designs. Best of all, petunias are heat tolerant, so you won’t have to worry about watering them too often. Unless there’s a long period of drought, a good soak once a week is usually sufficient. Do not water them shallowly, however, as this encourages shallow roots.

In Summary

Creating a pollinator-friendly container garden is easy and rewarding when you choose from these five beautiful annuals!

Plant some cosmos, nasturtiums, zinnias, nicotiana, and petunias this season for a stunning display that will also benefit the local ecosystem. It’ll be a pleasure to watch your container garden come alive with the buzzing of happy pollinators! Have fun planning, planting, and growing — it will definitely be worth it in the end. Enjoy your blooming success! Share your photos or gardening tips in the comments below so everyone can all enjoy each other’s successes!