Bee Friendly Plants For Shaded Areas: Shade Loving Plants For Pollinators

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

While much attention these days is paid to the important role that pollinators play in the future of our planet, most plants suggested for these hardworking little pollinators need full sun to develop their flowers. So how do you help pollinators do their job if you have mostly shade in your yard? With the right plants, you can attract pollinators to shade and part shade flower beds. Read on to learn more.

Bee Friendly Plants for Shaded Areas

Generally, bees prefer to buzz around plants in full sun, but there are some shade plants that bees love just as well. Honeybees are usually attracted to yellow, white, blue and purple flowers. Native bees, like the mason bee – who actually pollinates more plants than honey bees, are attracted to fruit tree blossoms and native shrubs and perennials.

Some shade tolerant plants for bees are:

Additional Shade Loving Plants for Pollinators


Besides bees, butterflies and moths also pollinate plants. Butterflies are usually attracted to plants with red, orange, pink or yellow flowers. Most butterflies and moths prefer plants with flat tops that they can land on; however, the hummingbird sphinx moth can flutter around small tube flowers to collect nectar and pollen.

Some part shade to shade loving plants for pollinators like butterflies and moths include:

Don’t be discouraged by a little shade. You can still do your part to help pollinators. While bees and butterflies need the warm sun in the morning to dry the dew off their wings, they can oftentimes be found seeking the refuge of shade in the hot afternoon. A large variety of blooms, both sun loving and shade loving, can draw a wide variety of pollinators.

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