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Pollinator plants our PCBA members recommend for attracting the most bees. These offer the best nectar and pollen sources, and are easy to grow. Focus on plants that bloom from August to May — late Fall/Winter through early Spring when food sources are scarce. Plant all cold season blooming plants in full sun to maximize bee visit time.


  • Allium — Ornamental Onion

  • Crocus

  • Colchicum autumnale– Autumn Crocus

  • Crocus tommasinianus– Tommasini’s Crocus


  • Borage (Hint: Plant Borage plants between tomato plants to improve tomato pollination.)

  • Chives (allow to flower)

  • Thyme

  • Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Arp’ — Rosemary



  • Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Dark Night’– Bluebeard

  • Ceanothus ‘Victoria’– Califorinia lilac

  • Erica × darleyensis ‘Kramer’s Rote’– Darley heath

  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’, Mahonia x media ‘Arthur Menzies’, Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’

  • Mahonia nervosa — Cascade Oregon Grape

  • Pieris japonica — Lily of the Valley Shrub

  • Pieris japonica ‘White Cascade’ — Lily of the Valley Shrub

  • Pieris japonica ‘Variegata’ — Variegated Lily of the Valley Shrub

  • Pieris japonica ‘Cavatine’– Dwarf Lily of the Valley Shrub


Some of the best nectar and pollen sources for bees are weeds. Plus they are the easiest to grow! Leave clover and dandelion weeds in your lawn. Blackberries are the source of the main nectar flow for honey in Pierce County.

  • Cirsium arvense — Canada Thistle

  • Fireweed

  • Epilobium angustifolium — Fireweed

  • Rubus armeniacus and laciniatus — Himalayan and Evergreen Blackberry

  • Taraxacum officinale — Dandelion

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