Skip Navigation

How Gardeners Can Help Pollinators


How Gardeners Can Help Pollinators

Bee image for the Pollinator   Butterfly Web
Bird image for the Pollinator Moth image
View the Pollintor E-Book Revised Bat image for the Pollinator Honeybee farmers

7 Gardening Tips Recovered

Every food source and habitat provided can help pollinators rebound from the challenges they face. You can provide food and habitat in your backyard—or even in your windowsill—to help pollinators thrive.

Here are seven ways to make your garden a haven for native pollinators:

  1. Use pollinator-friendly plants in your landscape. Shrubs and trees such as dogwood, blueberry, cherry, plum, willow, and poplar provide pollen or nectar, or both, early in spring when food is scarce.
  2. Choose a mixture of plants for spring, summer, and fall. Different flower colors, shapes, and scents will attract a wide variety of pollinators. If you have limited space, you can plant flowers in containers on a patio, balcony, and even window boxes.

  3. Reduce or eliminate pesticide use in your landscape, or incorporate plants that attract beneficial insects for pest control. If you use pesticides, use them sparingly and responsibly.

  4. Accept some plant damage on plants meant to provide habitat for butterfly and moth larvae.

  5. Provide clean water for pollinators with a shallow dish, bowl, or birdbath with half-submerged stones for perches.

  6. Leave dead tree trunks, also called “snags,” in your landscape for wood-nesting bees and beetles.

  7. Support land conservation in your community by helping to create and maintain community gardens and green spaces to ensure that pollinators have appropriate habitat.

Learn more online or contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office for information about selecting plants for particular pollinators.

More Information

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Leaving NRCS
North American Pollinator Protection site Leaving NRCS
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Pollinator Protection site Leaving NRCS
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pollinators site Leaving NRCS
U.S. Forest Service Pollinators site Leaving NRCS
NRCS Wildlife Habitat Management Institute Native Pollinators brochure (PDF, 4.7 MB)  


Additional Resources to Attract Birds for Gardeners

Download our Backyard Conservation magazine and tip sheets for more information on bringing conservation to your backyard.

Backyard Conservation Booklet (PDF, 7.64 MB)

Backyard Conservation magazine

Backyard Conservation and Tip Sheet Links

 Backyard Pond 

 Backyard Conservation Composting / Tip sheet (PDF, 423 KB)

 Backyard Mulching /Tip sheet (PDF, 475 KB)

 Backyard Nutrient Management /Tip sheet (PDF, 303 KB)

 Backyard Pest Management / Tip sheet (PDF,  279 KB)

 Backyard Terracing / Tip sheet (PDF, 345 KB)

 Backyard Tree Planting / Tip sheet (PDF, 436 KB)

 Backyard Water Conservation 

 Backyard Wetland / Tip sheet (PDF, 272KB) 

 Backyard Wildlife Habitat / Tip sheet (PDF, 305 KB)

Flowering Shrubs for Birds - Arbor Day Foundation 

Pink Flowers upclose Two Baby Birds Flowers in the front of House with Bird House Humming Bird Feeding