Creating a bee-friendly garden is both simple and rewarding.
- Choose brightly colored, nectar-rich flowers like echinacea, bee balm, and goldenrod.
- Incorporate plants with various bloom times to attract bees all season long.
- Select low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants that thrive in your hardiness zone.
- Add a variety of plants that offer different shapes and sizes for a diverse garden.
- Ensure that some plants with landing platforms and tubular flowers are included for easy bee access.
First, I decide what types of flowers and plants will be best suited for my region by checking my USDA hardiness zone. This ensures that the plants I choose will prosper in my garden with minimal extra care. Then, I focus on picking a mix of vibrant, nectar-rich flowers, as these are irresistible to bees. I make sure to choose varieties that bloom at different times, creating a steady food source for bees from spring through fall.
Next, I select a combination of plants with flat-topped blossoms and tubular-shaped flowers. The former provides an excellent landing spot for bees, while the latter is a favorite, especially for long-tongued bees. I love to include plants like echinacea and goldenrod for their beautiful colors and minimal maintenance requirements.
I also plan my garden so that it offers a range of plant heights and structures, which not only adds to its aesthetic appeal but also caters to different bee species. A diverse garden is not just a haven for bees; it’s a delight for me to behold.
Lastly, I ensure to practice regular garden upkeep, such as deadheading and managing pests like aphids, to keep my bee-friendly plants thriving. This small effort helps support the local bee population, and in return, I get to enjoy a flourishing garden full of life and color.
Have you ever watched fuzzy bumblebees buzzing around in slow, lazy circles while they search out the perfect flowers to pollinate? How about honeybees as they fly from flower to flower in a manner that almost seems urgent? There are many amazing plants for bees that not only create a pollinator oasis but also a stunning garden for you to enjoy.
Bees are beneficial insects that are essential to the environment. Not only do these pollinators need flowers for sustenance, but flowers need them as well.
These two work together to create natural harmony and beauty. Fortunately, there are many flowering plants that not only attract bees to the garden but also have a stunning display of blooms for you to enjoy. “My experience has shown that a garden rich in diverse flowering plants can significantly boost bee populations and overall ecosystem health,” affirms Julia Hodges, a knowledgeable practitioner in the field of plants, gardening, and growing food.
- Bee-Loving Plants
- Are Bees in the Garden Harmful to People?
- Do All Bees Pollinate Flowers in the Garden?
- Which Types of Amazing Plants for Bees Should I Grow?
- Are Bee-Friendly Plants Hard to Maintain?
- Aster (Symphyotrichum)
- Bee Balm (Monarda) – Amazing Plant for Drawing Pollinators to the Garden
- Goldenrod (Solidago)
- Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) – Native Plant for Bees
- Borage (Borago officinalis)
- Snapdragon (Antirrhinum) – Vibrant and Amazing Plant for Bees
- Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
- Milkweed (Asclepias) – Beneficial and Amazing Plant for Bees and Butterflies
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
- Salvia (Salvia officinalis) – Easy to Grow Plant for Bees
- Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)
- Columbine (Aquilegia) – Unique Blooming Plant for Bees
- Dahlia (Dahlia pinnata)
- Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) – Amazing Plant with a Pollen and Nectar Rich Flower
While many flowers are bee-friendly plants, some attract these pollinators more than others. Not only that, but these amazing plants provide vibrant colors and floral scents to the garden.
As an added benefit, you’ll not only attract bees to the garden but other pollinators as well, such as hummingbirds and butterflies. If you want to attract the bees but want to know what keeps flies away, there are plants you can grow to take care of this issue, too.
In addition to flowering plants, there are green or red evergreen shrubs that you could also use in the garden, as focal points, or as part of a hedge to attract pollinators. The only limits to the possibilities are your imagination and budget.
Are Bees in the Garden Harmful to People?
Bees are an essential component of the ecosystem. While collecting nectar, pollen sticks to the bee, and they transfer it to the next plant they visit, which allows the plant to reproduce and develop fruit.
While some varieties of bees are aggressive, pollinating bees generally leave humans alone so you don’t need to worry about making or buying a honey bee repellent.
They are too busy collecting nectar and pollen to be wasting their time with you. On the other hand, if you disturb them by swatting or try and capture them, they do defend themselves and you will likely get stung.
What are carpenter bees attracted to? These bees like the same plants as other pollinators. The difference is where they make their homes – usually in untreated wood.
If you start having a problem with wasps and yellow jackets in the garden, intersperse some plants that repel yellow jackets among your other flowers. Mint plants of several varieties are known to deter these annoying insects.
For the best way to get rid of ground bees without causing physical harm, there are several commercial and DIY solutions to try. Neem oil is safe for bees, but it harms the insects that eat on your plants.
Do All Bees Pollinate Flowers in the Garden?
Most bees pollinate by transferring pollen that gets stuck to their bodies in one way or another, but not all bee types are attracted to garden blooms.
There are only a handful of wild bee species that pollinate plants. The top pollinator bees are honey bees, and they pollinate approximately 80% of cultivated crops.
Other common bees spotted among flowers are bumblebees. They pollinate by a method called “buzz pollination,” and they prefer foraging the pollen over nectar.
Which Types of Amazing Plants for Bees Should I Grow?
Pollinating bees love nectar-rich flowers that are brightly colored, usually with blue and yellow blooms like hyssop, penstemon, or phlox. They prefer plants that have a landing platform with blooms that open during the day. Sweetly aromatic blooms with a tubular-shaped flower are among their favorites.
Bees also enjoy plants that are not as showy such as oregano, rosemary, yarrow, and sedum. They are also drawn to minty fragrances and enjoy bilaterally symmetrical flowers that have a mirror image from one side to the other.
You may also discover that some of these plants and shrubs for wildlife attract more than just bees to your yard. Butterflies, birds like hummingbirds, and other creatures may also decide to visit for a delicious sample.
Are Bee-Friendly Plants Hard to Maintain?
Bee-friendly plants are easy to maintain as long as you choose the right plants for your area and growing requirements. Choose plants that are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and thrive in your USDA hardiness zone for the best results.
It’s essential to prolong the blooming time of your plants by removing dead or damaged flowers. Deadheading encourages plants to produce more flowers for the bees to enjoy.
Aster comes in an array of shapes and sizes suitable for any garden. It has a spectacular display of blue, purple, pink, and white flowers supported with evergreen foliage. It blooms from early spring through fall.
This drought tolerant, low maintenance plant reaches a height from 3 to 8 feet and a width up to 4 feet, depending on the variety. It grows best in zones 3 through 9 and enjoys part to full sun. Use the blooms as cut flowers or enjoy them in a garden setting.
Bee Balm (Monarda) – Amazing Plant for Drawing Pollinators to the Garden
Bee balm is one of the easy growing perennials that add interest to humans and bees alike. The blossoms of bee balm are reminiscent of fireworks and are great for drawing in pollinators of all kinds.
The fragrant flowers come in a variety of colors, including purple, red, white, and pink, and are perfect for the garden or as cut flowers.
These low maintenance flowers have a long bloom time with vigorous growth. They are deer-resistant and drought tolerant and grow in sunny areas. Bee balm grows best in zones 3 through 9 and attracts pollinators and birds to the garden.
There are over 100 species of goldenrod, and the vibrant yellow and gold blooms of this plant brighten the yard. They are perennials that attract butterflies and bees to the garden from summer through fall, even during the cooler months when many other flowers finish blooming for the year.
Goldenrod grows best in zones 4 through 8 and enjoys part to full sun. This low maintenance plant is both drought tolerant and deer resistant and reaches a height from 3 to 8 feet, depending on the type. Because of their height, they do best in the back of the garden.
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) – Native Plant for Bees
Black-eyed Susan is a native staple in the garden and bursts with blooms during the peak of the growing season. It is stunning in mass plantings with yellow, orange, and red flowers that bloom from summer through fall.
This low maintenance, deer resistant, drought tolerant plant thrives as a perennial in zones 3 through 11. Enjoy colorful displays that reach a height of 3 to 8 feet and a width of up to 3 feet, depending on the variety.
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Borage is an annual plant that produces fuzzy stems topped with sky-blue blossoms. This plant blooms in the spring and late summer and reseeds itself each year. Not only do birds and bees love borage, but it is also an herb with an edible flower.
This low maintenance plant is also deer resistant and drought tolerant. It propagates from seed and reaches a height up to 3 feet tall. Borage thrives best in part to full sun and grows in either a garden setting or container.
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum) – Vibrant and Amazing Plant for Bees
This classic annual flower produces uniquely shaped blooms from spring through fall in bright and cheerful displays of orange, white, pink, red, and yellow. This cool-season plant attracts pollinators to the yard and grows well in a garden or containers.
Snapdragons are low maintenance and grow to a height of 1 to 3 feet. They grow well in a garden setting or a container display and make an excellent cut flower for the home.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
The coneflower, or echinacea, produces bright colored flowers of green, red, purple, orange, red, white, pink, and yellow. Both people and pollinators enjoy this garden delight. These fragrant flowers also make excellent cut flowers.
These plants bloom in the early summer through fall and reach an average height up to 3 feet tall. As a perennial, it grows in zones 3 through 9 and is low maintenance, deer resistant, and drought tolerant.
Milkweed (Asclepias) – Beneficial and Amazing Plant for Bees and Butterflies
These small shrubs that bees love stand tall with vibrant, fragrant blooms in shades of orange, red, purple, green, white, and pink. Milkweed is not only a big attraction to bees and other pollinators, but it is also the primary food for the caterpillar of Monarch butterflies.
Milkweed is a low maintenance perennial that thrives in zones 3 through 9. It is both deer resistant and drought-tolerant and reaches an average height of 3 feet.
Birds and nectar loving pollinators flock to this enticing flower during its summer-time bloom. Watch for aphids and deal with them quickly.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
A rugged, classic garden perennial, yarrow blooms in yellow, red, orange, white, and pink flowers from spring to fall. It has fern-like foliage with tall stems and flat color blooms. Yarrow looks at home in wildflower and cottage style gardens.
This low maintenance plant grows well in both a garden setting and containers and thrives in zone 3 through 10. It is both deer-resistant and drought tolerant and reaches an average height and width of 3 feet.
Salvia (Salvia officinalis) – Easy to Grow Plant for Bees
Salvia is an annual herb that produces tall spikes of colorful blooms in summer and fall. The flowers range in color from purple, pink, and white to red and blue and attract bees and hummingbirds with its colorful, fragrant blooms.
This plant is low maintenance and drought tolerant, making it a natural flower to grow in the garden or container. It enjoys sunny locations but tolerates partial sun and reaches a height up to 3 feet with a width up to 1 foot.
Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)
Joe-Pye weed makes a bold statement in the garden and calls attention to pollinators with its maximum height of 8 feet tall. This wildflower native produces airy blooms of white, pink, and purple flowers from summer to fall, and it has deep green foliage.
As a perennial, this plant thrives in full to part sun in zones 3 through 10. It is both drought-tolerant and deer resistant and fills garden spaces with a width of 2 to 8 feet.
Columbine (Aquilegia) – Unique Blooming Plant for Bees
Columbine has one-of-a-kind blooms that are uniquely shaped and come in a variety of colors from blue, purple, and white, to red, orange, and pink. These easy-to-grow flowers grow well in a garden atmosphere or container.
This perennial flower grows best in zones 3 through 9 and is easy to maintain. Being drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, Columbine attracts bees and birds to the garden. It prefers part to full sun and reaches a height of 3 feet and width of 2 feet.
Dahlia (Dahlia pinnata)
The blooms of dahlias are so precise and distinct that they almost don’t look real. The flowers come in many shapes and colors, including red, orange, purple, white, yellow, and pink. They bloom from summer through fall and attract all types of pollinators and birds.
Dahlia is low maintenance and grows as a bulb in zones 8 through 9, and an annual everywhere else. This drought tolerant plant reaches an average height of 3 feet and enjoys sunny locations.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) – Amazing Plant with a Pollen and Nectar Rich Flower
The butterfly weed produces vibrant red, orange, and yellow blooms throughout the summer months. These nectar plants for butterflies have blossoms that are rich in both nectar and pollen and are one of the best plants for attracting bees and other pollinators.
These tall, clumping perennials grow to a height of 1 to 3 feet and spread by way of seeds. It is suitable for growing in zones 3 through 9 and thrives in full sun. This easy-to-grow plant requires very little maintenance and grows well in mass plantings or a garden setting.
Filling areas of the yard with pollinating plants create harmony between you, your garden, and bees. It not only creates a sanctuary where bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds enjoy collecting pollen and nectar but a peaceful place for you to watch nature at its best. So, choose your favorite plants and roll up your sleeves, the bees are waiting.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the many different amazing plants for bees to create the perfect garden, and we’d love it if you’d share our bee-friendly plants with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest.