After more than 25 years of trialing plants, The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden knows which plants grow and look best in our region. By focusing that list to the plants that benefit pollinators the most, we have created the Zoo’s Best Plants for Pollinators Plant Series. We would also like to recommend some of our favorite plants that are great garden plants which may minimally support pollinators. We’re calling these Zoo’s Best Plants.

Working with local plant growers, we are introducing a Zoo-branded line of plants which gardeners can recognize as easy to grow, beautiful, and pollinator-friendly plants. These can be found at many independent local garden centers. A portion of the proceeds from every purchase will support further plant trialing at the Zoo.

For more information about the Zoo’s Best Plants For Pollinators Program, contact us at: [email protected]

Best Pollinator Annuals

Best Pollinator Perennials

Pollinator Series Shrubs

Zoo's Best Annuals


Zoo's Best Perennials

Zoo's Best Shrubs

3D 1quart Zoo's Best 11-23-15(4)

Click here to read more about the importance of gardening with pollinator friendly plants in an article featuring the Cincinnati Zoo from Garden Center Magazine.

What are pollinators?
  • Pollinators include butterflies, moths, honeybees, native bees, and many different types of flies, wasps, and
    even beetles.
  • Some pollinators sting, but most do not. Even among the bees and wasps that can sting, they are not interested
    in stinging people when they are feeding. Stings almost always occur when people accidentally grab or
    step on a bee or wasp, or are threatening a nest.
Make your yard a thriving oasis for pollinators!
  • Include Zoo’s Best Pollinator plants in your garden to provide food and habitat!
  • Limit use of pesticides. Only spray when necessary, seek expert advice, and follow
    label instructions exactly when or if you do.
  • Provide sources of water, such as a birdbath or a water feature. 
Pollinators are beneficial!
  • Thousands of butterflies, native bees, wasps, and other insects ensure pollination of wild plants, which in turn
    provides fruits and seeds for wildlife and the regeneration of wild ecosystems.
  • Pollinators are needed for the crops that make up much of our diet.
  • Many pollinating insects also prey upon pest insects, thereby creating a more balanced and healthier garden
    and ecosystem.
Your yard is an ecosystem.
  • Pollinator numbers are falling due to loss of habitat and other pressures. Your yard can provide valuable habitat to help support healthy populations of pollinators. 

zoosbest2These plants and many others are part of every Zoo visitor’s experience. Come see us! You can enjoy our World of Insect exhibit and learn more about these fascinating animals.

For more information about the Zoo’s Best Plants For Pollinators Program, contact us at: [email protected]


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