Pollinators require two essential components in their habitat: somewhere to nest and flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. Native plants are undoubtedly the best source of food for pollinators, because plants and their pollinators have coevolved. Many varieties of garden plants are also good for these important insects.

In many landscapes, flowers have been pushed to the margins, surviving on roadsides and field edges, as well as in wild areas and gardens. Providing patches of flowers is one thing we can do to improve the environment for pollinators. Creating foraging habitat not only helps the bees, butterflies and flies that pollinate these plants, but also results in beautiful, appealing landscapes.

Garden front yard by Matthew Shepherd

3 things you can do to enhance pollinators in your garden!

By implementing the changes below, you’re on your way to protect pollinators and their habitats. Consider joining our Bring Back the Pollinators campaign. Sign the Bring Back the Pollinators pledge now!

noun project flower

Provide a range of native flowers.

Native flowering plants that bloom throughout the growing season enrich the landscape visually and provide food and nesting! Find a plant list for your region.

ground nesting site icon

Create nest sites.

Creating nesting sites for native bees is essential. To learn more about different nesting options, and which ones will easily incorporate into your landscape, check out our Nests for Native Bees factsheet.

noun project spray bottle

Avoid using pesticides.

Pesticides reduce available nectar and pollen sources in the garden. To learn more about making informed pesticide choices, visit our Pesticides program page.


Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other pollinators across America. Join the campaign to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators! You can register your garden by Read more …

Attracting Native Pollinators

Xerces’ most recent book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, is available to purchase from our website. The book is published in 2011 by Storey Publishing, North Adams, Massachusetts. Attracting Native Pollinators is coauthored by four Xerces Society staff members Eric Mader, Matthew Shepherd, Mace Vaughan, and Scott Black in collaboration with Gretchen LeBuhn, San Francisco State University. Read more.

Establishing Pollinator Meadows from Seed

Step-by-step instructions for establishing pollinator meadows from seed in areas that range in size from a small backyard garden to an acre or more. Read more.

Neonicotinoids in Your Garden

Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that are used widely on farms, as well as around our homes, schools, and city landscapes. Used to protect against sap-sucking and leaf-chewing insects, neonicotinoids are systemic, which means they are absorbed by the plant tissues and expressed in all parts, including nectar and pollen. Unfortunately, bees, butterflies, and Read more …

In Your Pollinator Garden

Each month, we highlight a few seasonally-relevant gardening issues in our Bring Back the Pollinators enewsletter. You can find our archive of monthly tips below. No matter what time of year it is or how bad the weather may seem, there is always plenty of work to do in your garden, so please remember to Read more …

Collecting and Using Your Own Wildflower Seed

By James Eckberg, Jennifer Hopwood, and Eric Lee-Mäder In this document we outline the basic steps of collecting native plant seed using readily available, non-specialized equipment, as well as tips for cleaning, storing, and sharing seed to expand pollinator habitat on farms and in our communities. To download this document in PDF format, click here.

The Power of Pollinators

Materials and resources to teach gardeners and naturalists about pollination, pollinators and every gardener's role in pollinator conservation. Each module contains slides, notes and resources to help educators spread the word about pollinators. To download PDF instructions, click here.

Great Sunflower Project

This project involves growing sunflowers and monitoring the bees that visit them. The website includes detailed information on native bee identification. Visit the site here.

Melissodes on purple coneflower 02 (Mace Vaughan)

Conserving Pollinators: A Primer for Gardeners

From the University of Minnesota, an introduction to pollinator conservation in urban gardens including information on pesticides reduction, flower selection for pollinators, native bee nests, and backyard beekeeping. Click here to visit page.


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Contact Us

Email us with your questions and comments about pollinator conservation.

Learn About Your Landscape:
Take Action!
Sign the Pledge!

Sign the pledge and take action to help protect pollinators and their essential habitats! Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Resource Center

The Resource Center is where you can find regional information about plant lists, habitat conservation guides, and more. Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes

Our partners in the native seed industry are offering specially designed, Xerces-approved wildflower seed mixes. Learn more.

Plant Milkweed Seed!

Milkweeds support monarch butterflies, native bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects. Search for sources of milkweed seed now!

long horned bee (Melissodes sp.) on sunflower by Mace Vaughan. Front yard garden by Matthew Shepherd. Ground nest icon by Kaitlyn Rich. From The Noun Project: Flower designed by Adam Zubin. Spray Bottle designed by Julieta Felix.