Bee and butterfly populations increase over the warm summer months, but late-summer supplies of pollen and nectar are often in short supply. Attract bees and butterflies with the following hardy, deer-resistant perennials.
These workhorse flowers come back year after year and fill awkward gaps in the garden with late-season color.
Plant perennials in roomy planting holes, then add a spadeful of compost and a half-cup of organic or time-release fertilizer to each hole. Thoroughly water each plant before removing it from its pot and placing it in the planting hole. Water again, and refill the hole with loose soil.
Press the plant gently into place with your hands. Spread a band of mulch two to three inches deep and 10 inches wide around each plant. To protect plants against disease, don’t volcano the mulch around the plant’s base.
The Best Late-Blooming Perennials to Attract Pollinators:
- Black-eyed Susan. Blooming heavily from midsummer to fall, Black-eyed Susan always makes a strong comeback in spring. Every landscape is improved with a mound of this vigorous perennial bloomer. Grown best in full sun, but will tolerate partial sun as well.
- Asters. The lovely pink or lavender blooms attract a wide range of late-season butterflies and beneficial insects. Darker purple strains look stunning with a light background such as a white picket fence. In a sunny spot, space plants one to three inches apart depending on the variety.
- Joe Pye weed. Moist spots are perfect for this flower, which produces billows of airy pink florets in late summer. The native form can reach three to 12 feet tall, but improved cultivars grow to half that size, and they bloom in brighter colors, too. Best planted with a two-foot center for plenty of room to grow.
- Sedum. One of the most dependable perennials you can grow, ‘Autumn Joy’ and other vigorous varieties will quickly establish themselves as permanent garden residents in any sunny spot. The early fall flowers attract a wide range of beneficial insects, and make excellent cut flowers as well.