What we Do

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."

— William James

Plants for Pollinators

Pollinators are the unsung heroes of the natural world. More than 80% of the world’s flowering plants rely on animal pollinators to reproduce. One out of every three bites of the food we eat exists because of them, including apples, tomatoes, chocolate, honey, almonds and coffee.

Due to human activities, our pollinator populations are in decline. Habitat loss, pesticide and herbicide use, and climate change are all threatening their future survival. But, we can help our pollinators by creating nectar-rich garden habitats in public parks and open spaces and at our homes and businesses. These small habitat patches can create an interconnected network, that help revive and sustain populations of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across our city, country, and continent.

Plants that attract pollinators

If you are looking to create your own pollinator friendly garden, this list is a great place to start. Many of these are plants and varieties that you can see at our Pollinator Garden at Parque Juarez.  To view information about each plant place your cursor over the photo.

When deciding which plants you would like to place in your garden, think about including host plants for butterfly caterpillars and creating spaces for nesting and shelter, too.   You’ll find that the plants that attract pollinators will provide beauty and aroma to your garden and many can be used in cooking or medicinal remedies, too.

Franke’s Vivero (map) is a great source for native plants and a reliable and knowledgeable supplier of a variety of pollinator attracting plants that are well-adapted to our high desert environment. Happy Gardening!

Herbaceous Plants

These herbaceous plants do best in full sun, but some will adapt to filtered shade.  Many are aromatic, and will fill your garden with wonderful fragrances after it rains.


Society Garlic

Latin name: Tulbaghia violacea ‘Variegata’ Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Pink Uses: Culinary, Repels mosquitos and moles




Latin name: Asclepias curassavica
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars
Flower: Red, Orange, Yellow
Uses:  Sole host plant for Monarch eggs & caterpillars

Baston de San Francisco

Lion’s Tail

Latin name: Leonotis L. nepetaefolia Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Orange Uses: Medicinal


Cleveland Sage

Latin name: Salvia clevelandii Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Blue Uses: Medicinal

Cordon de Cristo Mexican Sage

Latin name: Salvia leucantha Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Violet Uses:  Ornamental



Latin name: Foeniculum vulgare
Host plant: Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars
Flower: Yellow
Uses: Culinary

Cinco Negritos


Latin name: Lantana camara sp. Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Red, Orange, Yellow Uses:  Ornamental

Lavanda Francesa French Lavender

Latin name: Lavandula dentata Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Lavender Uses: Medicinal & Culinary

Lantana Amarillo 

Yellow Lantana

Latin name: Lantana camaras sp. Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Yellow Uses:  Ornamental



Latin name: Petroselinum crispum
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, host plant for Swallowtail caterpillars
Flower: White
Uses: Culinary & Medicinal


Latin name: Clinopodium mexicana
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Flower: Orange
Uses: Medicinal



Latin name: Rosmarinus officinalis. Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Lavender Uses: Culinary & Medicinal

Romero Rastrero Trailing Rosemary

Latin name: Rosmarinus officinalis sp. Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Lavender Uses: Culinary & Medicinal


Latin name: Many Varieties
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Flower: Red, Pink, Salmon, Violet, Coral
Uses: Medicinal

Salvia Burgandy

Latin name: Salvia Splendens sp. Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Burgundy Uses:  Ornamental,  Shade

Salvia Mistic

Latin name: Salvia longispicata Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Blue Uses:  Ornamental

Salvia Piña Pineapple sage

Latin name: Salvia elegans Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Red Uses: Culinary & Medicinal

Salvia Victoria Mealy Cup Sage

Latin name: Salvia farinacea Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Blue Uses: Ornamental


Mexican Giant Hyssop

Latin name: Agastache mexicana sp. Attracts: Butterflies, Hummingbirds Flower: Bright Pink Uses: Medicinal

Luz de Bengala

Coral Fountain

Latin Name: Russelia equisetiformis Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies Flower: Coral Red Uses: Ornamental


Shrimp plant

Latin name: Justicia brandegeeana
Attracts:  Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Flower: Salmon
Uses: Ornamental


Latin name: Clivia miniata
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Flower: Orange
Uses: Ornamental, Shade tolerant


African Daisy

Latin name: Euryops chrysanthemoides
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies
Flower: Yellow
Uses: Ornamental

Margarita blanca

Shasta Daisy

Latin Name: Leucanthemum x superbum
Attracts: Butterflies, Bees
Flower: White with yellow center
Uses: Ornamental

Mona Lavanda

Mona Lavender

Latin name: Plectranthus sp.
Attracts: Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Bees
Flower: Lavender
Uses: Ornamental, Shade tolerant

Succulents and Grasses

Succulents are a wonderful addition to a pollinator garden, adding different shapes, textures and colors to a garden bed or container.   They make for a stunning display when many species are grouped together.  They are drought tolerant, fast growing and and easy to care for.

Sabila Amarilla

Aloe Vera

Latin name: Aloe vera barbadensis
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Bees, Butterflies, Orioles
Flower: Yellow
Uses:  Medicinal



Attracts: Bees
Flower: Deep pink
Uses:  Ornamental


Rock Purslane

Attracts: Bees, Butterflies
Flower: Deep pink
Uses: Ornamental

Sabila Coral

Coral Aloe

Latin name: Aloe striata
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Bees, Butterflies, Orioles
Flower: Coral
Uses:  Ornamental


Attracts: Bees
Flower:  White, pink, yellow
Uses:  Ornamental

Festuca azul

Blue Fescue

Latin Name: Festuca glauca
Attracts:  the eye!
Leaves: Blue green
Uses:  Ornamental, adds color and texture to a succulent garden


False Yucca

Latin name: Hesperaloe parviflora
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Bees
Flower: Magenta
Uses: Ornamental



Ice Plant

Attracts: Bees
Flower: Various
Uses:  Spreading ground cover


Attracts: Bees, possibly hummingbirds.
Flower: Pink and Yellow
Uses: Ornamental



Attracts: Bees
Flower: Various colors
Uses:  Ornamantal


These vines provide colorful or aromatic nectar-rich flowers to your garden, while vining plants of all kinds provide hidey-holes for hummingbird nests and caterpillar cocoons.

Jazmin/Huele de Noche


Latin Name: Jasminum grandiflorum
Attracts: Butterflies, Bees
Flower: White
Uses: Ornamental, Aromatic



Latin Name: Passiflora sp.
Attracts: Butterflies, Bees, Hummingbirds
Flower: Various colors
Uses: Medicinal, host plant for Fritillary butterfly family 

Distictus buccinatoria

Mexican Blood Trumpet Vine

Latin Name: Distictis buccinatoria
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Bees
Flower:  Orange-red.  

Warning about Distictus… This plant grows rambunctiously and requires regular care to prevent unwanted spread and to maintain the size and shape appropriate to your garden size.  Remove seed pods to prevent spread of plant.  Prune back heavily in late fall and prune occasionally during growing season to maintain shape and desired size. Needs regular watering until established, then is drought tolerant.

General Guidelines for Planting and Care

Location: Garden beds or container.

Blooms: Year around, but less predominately in winter.

Light: Bring on the sun, but most will tolerate and bloom under filtered light conditions.

Soil: Most of the plants on our list like well-draining soil, if the soil retains too much water it can cause the roots to rot. To achieve good composition, use a mix of soil, volcanic rock and compost. Primavera Nursery is a good source for soils that can be mixed to order.

Planting: Dig a hole that is wider than the radius of the container with the depth the same as the height as the container. Gently remove the plant from its container and loosen the root ball. If the root ball is severely compact, you can use a knife to gently cut and loosen the roots. If there are any long roots, do not bend and wrap them around the planting hole. It is better to snip them off so they are more or less even with the other roots. Place the plant into the hole, the top of the root ball should be level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firmly, but gently, tamp down the soil around the plant to remove air pockets. Water thoroughly.

Water: Once established nearly all of the plants that we feature in this section are drought tolerant. Deep watering is best, once a week during hot months and less often during winter. Keep an eye out for droopy leaves, which means they need water, or yellow leaves, which generally indicates too much water. Plants in pots usually require more frequent watering.

Spent flowers:  It’s important to remove spent flowers, cutting the stem at its base.

Pruning: Throughout the year, continue to prune judiciously, so that your plants don’t become “leggy” or out of control. 

After the first year, the salvias benefit from a deep pruning during late winter or when new foliage is appearing at the base of the plant. You will be rewarded with a fuller, healthier plant in no time at all. 

Feeding:  Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds.

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