If you’d love your garden or terrace to become a bee magnet but aren’t sure which plants will draw the most bees for your efforts, here are some fine suggestions in addition to our recent blog post, Plant A Bee Garden.
The flowers listed below will attract all sorts of bees: honeybees, bumblebees, native and solitary bees as well as butterflies and in some cases birds.
You can’t go wrong with any or all of these, but remember whenever possible to get organic non-GMO plants and preferably heirloom seeds.
Anise-Hyssop: Bees go gaga over this rich nectar-producing flowering herb, and the leaves are tasty in salads.
Black Eyed Susan: A native wildflower that blooms in summer and autumn, this sunflower-like plant loves the sun and endures droughts well.
Borage: These purple beauties taste vaguely like cucumbers, bees love them, and you can enjoy eating the stems, leaves and flowers, too.
Calendula: Bees love the nectar and pollen of this bright yellow hardy flower.
California Poppies: Spring-blooming cup-like native wildflowers that drive bees crazy and come in orange, pink, white and yellow.
Chive Flowers: Early spring delights for bees, these gentle lilac and violet pompom flowers spread fast so contain them in flowerpots or window boxes.
Coneflower (Echinacea): Stunning visually, the orange centers are packed with rich nectar that draws honeybees and is good for them, too. These hardy flowers love the sun, so plant them in autumn or spring.
Crocus: Bees love these early spring aromatic flowers, they are some of the first nectar of the season for hungry bees.
Foxglove: Bees love these heavy nectar producers that are easy to grow and come back every year.
Goldenrod: Bees love the golden blooms that are reputed to have pain and inflammation-taming properties.
Heliotrope: Richly aromatic, these deep purple flowers carry a scent of vanilla and appeal to bees, butterflies and birds.
Lavender: Bees delight in the nectar from these beautiful purple flowers with silvery leaves. You can enjoy lavender as well, in so many ways, as these fragrant flowers can be baked into shortbread cookies or dried to include in aromatic sachets.
Liatris: Blooms pop forth in summer if you plant in the spring, and bees adore the nectar of the bottle-brush shaped flowers.
Lupine: Tall yellow gold spiky flowers bloom in late spring and grow best in sunny spots, and need some TLC, regular watering and soil that drains well.
This 2:42-minute video Top 10 Flowers for Bees includes even more great choices:
Marigold: Honeybees delight on the luscious bright red, orange and yellow petals of this pretty flower. Plant them around food producing plants like tomatoes and herbs as they drive off many types of pests.
Mint: Lovely lavender-colored flowers burst forth on this garden herb all summer long. Similar to chives, keep mint contained in pots or boxes as it will overrun and kill other plants when it gets going.
Nasturtium: Humans enjoy eating this as much as bees, especially when you add it to salads or fish dishes. You can eat the entire easy-growing plant, including the bright flowers and broad leaves.
Pansy: Bees love pansies in the warmth of summer, but this hardy flower enjoys cool weather too and endures a long time. Pansies are lovely border or potted plants. They can be planted in spring and autumn and flower most of the year.
Peony: Peony flowers are large and fluffy and blossom in late spring. They make bees happy and come in a range of colors.
Phlox: Highly fragrant flowers will draw the bees to your flower beds no matter which of the many varieties of phlox you plant. Some grow low like ground cover and others are sentinels standing tall in the rear.
Sedum: Bees find the blossoms intoxicating, and as late-season bloomers they extend the available nectar and pollen sources past the height of summer.
Snowdrops: Early bloomers, these spring flowers with fresh nectar are some of the first available to bees when they emerge from winter. Low maintenance and hardy enough to thrive even if snow is still on the ground.
Sunflower: Bees enjoy the sweet and abundant nectar in mid-to-late summer, so plant some in the spring. The spectacular blooms woo the bees whether they are short or tall varieties—or both!
Thyme (Flowering): Every herb garden deserves some flowering thyme… mid-spring to summer prepare for it to flower. If the bees will share with you, add the fragrant blossoms to salads or avocado toast, or use to garnish.
Wild Bergamot (Bee Balm): Delightful colors the bees love all spring and summer, this popular bee plant loves the sun.
Zinnia: If you like easy-to-maintain flowers, these annuals love the sun and reseed themselves every year. Beautiful heavy blossoms delight the bees and you can plant them from seed right after the last frost.
Just one further message for today, no matter which flowers you are drawn to:
Feed the bees, please! :)