It’s Not Too Late to Plant Pollinator Plants

Judging by the crowds at nurseries and garden centers in May, it’s easy to think you can’t plant pollinator plants (or anything else!) after June 1. Not at all. In fact, savvy gardeners often will shop in June or July to find plants for their gardens, some of which may be on sale.

Native pollinator-friendly plants are especially adaptable to mid-season planting because they are accustomed to your weather and soils. Four years ago, during its 150th anniversary year, MSHS worked with Glacial Ridge Growers to develop Pollinator Paks™, groupings of six pollinator plants that are perfect to attract different pollinators. One grouping is perfect for hummingbirds, another for bees, one for butterflies generally and one for monarchs. The pollinator plants in the packs include favorites like milkweed, bee balm, anise hyssop, prairie blazing star, lupine and rudbeckia.

bee on pollinator plants

Bee balm (Monarda) blooms in summer.

Planting Pollinator Plants Midsummer

When planting in early to midsummer, when temperatures can get warm, it’s important to water in plants carefully at planting and to continue to water them regularly after that. Most of the pollinator pack plants do not need huge amounts of water  — generally what Mother Nature supplies through rain is enough. But during the first year, you may want to water them every few days to make sure their roots get established.

Choose a location for the plants where they will have good growing conditions—most like a site with six or more hours per day of direct sun. Most do well in typical Midwestern soils, so no need to add a lot of compost or fertilizer.

anise hyssop plant

Anise hyssop is in many of the Pollinator Paks.

Where to Buy Pollinator Paks™

The Pollinator Paks can usually be found in the perennial section of these nurseries and garden centers:

In the Twin Cities:

Axdahl’s Garden Farm — Stillwater
Bachman’s — multiple locations
Heidi’s GrowHaus — Corcoran
Lynde Greenhouse and Nursery — Maples Grove
Minnesota Gardens — Chaska
Mississippi Market — St. Paul
Mother Earth Gardens — Longfellow and Northeast Minneapolis
The Open Door Pantry  — Eagan

Central Minnesota

Minnesota Street Market — St. Joseph
Ballantine Co. — Avon


Sargent’s Nursery — Red Wing
Penny’s Tendercare Greenhouse — Watertown, SD

Thank you!

Your purchase of a Pollinator Pak not only supports the bees and butterflies we love, $1 of each purchase goes to support MSHS and the work we do to encourage gardening in our communities.




  1. Maija Sedzielarz on June 11, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Thank you! Loved this option at Bachman’s. I got the hummingbird pak, but really I got it because I liked the mix of plants and realized that they are good for all kinds of pollinators.

  2. Barbara A Stark on June 24, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    It would be nice if the Pollinator Paks were available in northern MN, too.

  3. […] throughout the growing season, and the seed heads offer winter interest. Plant it with other summer-blooming flowers such as monarda, leadplant, butterfly milkweed, prairie onions and smaller grasses like little […]

  4. […] ecological function that makes the world work and brings us closer to nature? When we cultivate native plant communities at home that are inspired by nearby meadows or woods, we invariably pique the interest of neighbors […]

Leave a Comment