Non-Native Pollinator-Friendly Plants

While native plants are ideal for pollinators, other options exist that are still beneficial. The table below includes some selections that can be valuable to pollinators.

Some non-native annuals can provide adequate pollen and nectar. Because these floral rewards may not be as similar to the nutrition provided by a native plant, we recommend that no more than 50% of your pollinator garden contain non-native annuals.

Horticultural perennials that are derived from native plants are also options for your garden. These include plants that have been selectively bred from native stock to produce a greater variety of colours, floral shapes, and sizes.

There may be perennial plants available in greenhouses that are native to other grasslands or meadows, but not found in Manitoba. If they are similar to native plants (in the same genus, for example), they may be excellent additions to your gardens.

Garden herbs can be beneficial as well. Consider letting some of your herbs go to flower to help feed the bees!

In all cases, you must be cautious about the use of pesticides in these alternatives. Systemic pesticides (like neonics) can remain in plant tissues, contaminating leaves, pollen, and nectar. You can review our list of acceptable categories for pesticide use (Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides section) to help you have a discussion with your local grower.


Common Name Genus Colour Height Sun
Calendula Calendula Yellow-Orange 30-90cm Full to Part
Canna Lily Canna Red Up to 2m Full to Part
Cosmos Cosmos Variety Up to 1m Full
Egyptian Star Flower Pentas White to Red 30-90cm Full
Globe Amaranth Gomphrena Red to Purple 30-60cm Full to Part
Heliotrope Heliotropium Purple 30-60cm Full
Hybrid Sunflower  Helianthus Yellow Up to 2m Full
Lobelia Lobelia Purple/Blue Spiller, or 6cm Full to Part
Marigolds Tagetes Yellow to Orange 15-30cm Full
Nasturtiums Tropaeolum Yellow to Red Spiller Full
Purslane Portulaca Yellow 15cm Full
Spider Flowers Cleome Pink 30-100cm Full to Part
Verbena Verbena Purple 30cm Full
Zinnias Zinnia Variety 15-30cm Full


Perennials native to other prairie Regions or Varieties derived from native plants

Common Name Genus Colour Height Sun
Allium/chives Allium Purple, pink 30-90cm Full
Beebalm Monarda Red, purple, pink 60-90cm Full
Blanket Flower Gaillardia Yellow, red, orange 30-80cm Full
Blazingstar Liatris Purple, white 45-70cm Full
Coneflower Echinacea Purple, pink, red 30-90cm Full
Salvia, Russian Sage Salvia Purple Up to 1m Full


Perennials that are annual in Manitoba

Common Name Genus Colour Height Sun
Beeblossom Oenothera (Gaura) White to Pink Up to 1m Full
Bush Daisy Euryops Yellow Shubby, up to 1m Full
Million Bells Calibrachoa Various Spiller Full to part
Oregano Origanum Pink 30-80cm Full