Home Gardening Tips 27 Plants That Attract Bees

27 Plants That Attract Bees

by ThatWoW Editorial Team

When flowers are at their full bloom, they usually attract a lot of pollination agents. If you’re an avid gardener or even a beginner you know how essential pollination is. Bees and butterflies are the most common agents of pollination and you need to have the right flowers to attract them.

Imagine having a backyard full of the most beautiful blooms and having bees and butterflies dance around the garden, helping your other plants blossom. But you have to pick and choose the plants that you sow. There are a few plants that are much better at attracting bees than others.

You don’t have to worry though, the times of flipping through plant catalogs and surfing the web for hours are behind you. I’ve covered everything you need to know about pollination using bees as an agent and plants that attract bees the most. 

Why You Need to Attract Bees

Pollination is very important for the bee as well as the flowers. They derive sweet nectar from the plant that helps them continue their species; while obtaining nectar they also help your garden or orchard tremendously.

They trigger self-pollination and cross-pollination as pollens can’t travel by themselves unless you live in a very windy climate and your plants are close to each other. Hence bees are very important for the floral cycle of nature and are gouging to be your best friends when it comes to gardening. 

What Kind of Flowers do Bees Need? 

Bees view the world differently. They perceive colors and textures differently than the human eye. Hence if you want to attract honey bees to your garden specifically, you need to start by planting single petal flowers with colors like blue, pink, yellow, purple, orange, etc.

The more vibrant the color, the better. You can also plant some herbs that are bee-friendly and attract them such as rosemary, sage, lavender, etc. You also need to let your garden grow a little wild and intense so that it attracts bees more. They like protection and are more drawn to gardens that have some intensely growing plants. 

Now let’s look at a few flowers that are bee-friendly and attract bees .

27 Plants That Atteact Bees

1. Bee Balm

The name says it all. They are very attractive to bees and butterflies. This is a very unique looking plant, and hence it is very easy to recognize. It has a very strong scent and nectar which is attractive to bees. They are also known as Monarda didyma. It is found in a variety of colors such as pink, red, white, and purple.

These plants are herbaceous perennials, which means that they last through the year, even in the winters regardless of they having blooms on the top or not. They need some space to grow and multiply quickly and will look quite stunning in your garden. Hence if you’re looking for some year-round pollination activating plants this plant is an ideal choice.

2. Catmint

Catmint is also known as faassen nepeta is a part of the mint family. But it is nearly not as invasive as the other plants in this family and is known to be quite well behaved and beautiful at the same time.

This plant is a little more natural to grow than its other cousins. It provides sweet nectar to bees and other pollinating agents all summer long. They look fantastic in gardens and produce long-lasting spikes of flowers that attract bees very easily. They fill the space beautifully and are also commonly used in rock gardens. If you live in a hot and dry climate this plant will serve you well. 

3. Cornflower

These old-fashioned flowers are also known as Centaurea cyanus. Cornflowers have a prolonged bloom time and last from June to September and sometimes even more. These flowers are very easy to handle and low maintenance. They are even drought-tolerant and thrive in full sun.

So make sure you plant them in a place that gets full sunlight and well-drained soil. They come in a variety of colors such as white, pink, yellow, purple, violet, lavender, and other shades of purple. But bees are attracted the most to the white and shades of purple of this flower. 

4. Fleabane

This daisy looking flower usually grows in the wild and is also known as Conyza bonariensis. This plant looks beautiful and is often seen as trims along roadsides, buildings, walls, etc. The plant grows naturally and does not need a lot of maintenance. It can be controlled easily through regular trimming.

The flower comes in pink, white, and pale purple but white looks the most attractive. This flower has a fast reproduction system and is also considered a weed because of that. But it has sweet nectar that is very attractive to bees and it generates a lot of pollination. 

5. Globe Thistle

This plant is a part of the Aster family and is also known as Echinops ritro. These flowers have a spiky frame and have deep purple/blue like blooms. The flowers first appear during early summer and last for up to 8 weeks approximately. The leaves are somewhat fuzzy and entirely notched.

This plant is native to the Asian and European regions. This flower attracts a lot of bees and sometimes you see a group of them working on a single flower. They are very low maintenance and grow yearly. This summer flower has enough nectar to attract bees. 

6. Allium 

This plant is also known as Allium giganteum or the Great Onion because this flower is a part of the Asian class of Onion which is native to southwest Asia but now is found around the world. They are tall plants that sometimes grow up to 5 feet tall and are often seen in gardens.

Alliums have a sweet powdery aroma that attracts bees instantly to this bulb looking flower. This plant triggers a lot of pollination around your garden. But they don’t grow so quickly as to take over. They can stay in the same place for years. 

7. Aromatic Aster

These flowers also look like daisies and are very easy to grow. They are perennials and come back every year. They have a star-shaped flower head and are very low maintenance. It has a good ground cover and grows about 1-3 feet tall. This flower is perfect for dry and sunny areas and needs full sun.

Also known as Symphyotrichum oblongifolium the flowers start to turn a little deep reddish-purple as they mature. Ironically these flowers don’t have a lot of aromas, but their leaves have some when squeezed. These flowers frow during late summer and autumn and bring some color to your garden whilst your summer blooms are fading. They are much-needed pollen providing source during the autumn months for bees. 

8. Butterfly Bush

This flower is a very popular choice, especially among avid gardeners as it is very easy to grow and does not require a lot of care. Also, it has a long flowering season and can work in a variety of climates. From extremely wet to dry climates, this plant can handle it all while giving beautiful radiant blooms.

Also known as Buddleja davidii bees are often attracted to its sweet scent. This flower attracts various pollinating agents. It is ideal for someone who is looking for a very uncomplicated flower with a prolonged bloom time. 

9. Clove Pink

These cute little flowers with a feathery opaque frame are a popular choice for gardening. They are perfect to fill up small sunny areas in your garden. Not only do they look very beautiful, but they also have a lot of medicinal and ornamental uses.

They have a strong sweet aroma and will fill the air with some good fragrance. Bees are instantly attracted to this flower as it has a lot of nectar. Clove pink has various uses and is ideal pollination generating backyard plant. 

10. False Indigo

This stunning flower will fill your backyard with blues like no other. This flower has its origins in America itself and is also known as Baptisia australis. They are a part of the pea family and grow in a shrubby manner.

They are very low maintenance and seldom need to be regulated. These flowers are ideal for all bees and butterflies because it is very easy for them to grasp onto the shape of the flower and derive nectar. 

11. Hollyhock

Hollyhocks are also known as Alcea rosea are native to China and the Mediterranean areas. You should typically plant them in the winter so that you can have some fresh blooms as summer comes along. These flowers are very attractive looking, not just to humans but to bees as well.

They have heart-shaped petals and the whole flower measures about 3-6 inches. They have strong long stalks under them and come in an astounding number of colors. Ideal for pollination in the summertime, these plants will look simply gorgeous in your garden. 

12. Lavender

I’m pretty sure you have hearts about these flowers as they are very popular for their scent and looks. Many people have lavender as a part of their herb garden.

These charming flowers come in a beautiful purple shade that looks gorgeous. While having a variety of uses, the flower also acts as the perfect pollination trigger. It attracts bees as they are drawn to its sweet aroma just like humans. 

13. Mallow

While this is considered to be a weed and is a part of the wildflowers, they are actually beautiful. They look stunning and have a height of about 6-24 inches tall. Their blooms are very similar to the hollyhock flowers paired with the most gorgeous heart-shaped leaves.

While they look similar to hollyhocks, they have only white and pink color species. They spread rapidly but can easily be contained by regular trimming. Bees and butterflies are attracted to this plant and constantly hover around it. 

14. Goldenrod

While goldenrod can easily be confused with an allergy triggering ragweed, it is actually quite the opposite of this plant. It has a lot of health benefits and looks beautiful and billowy. Also known as Solidago this plant looks elegant even though it has a weedy look to it.

The plant blooms during summer or even fall depending on its type. Goldenrods are almost necessary to have in the late autumn months. They are known to provide some of the most nectar to bees. Bees love this plant and are known to flock around this plant the most during the late summer m months when the other blooms begin to fade. 

15. Mexican sunflowers

Also known as Tithonia rotundifolia these flowers thrive in warm and dry places. They are summer plants through and through.

These sunflowers are drought tolerant plants and only need to be planted at a spot where they get full sun and well-drained soil. Mexican sunflowers are tall and grow up to 4-6 ft tall in height. Bees are instantly attracted to this plant because of its vibrant colors and sweet nectar. 

16. Lychnis

Also known as Lychnis coronaria or rose champion, these flowers are very popular. These vintage flowers come in the vibrant colors of magenta, white or bright pink. They can often be found in a lot of home gardens. These plants are summer plants and need full sun.

While they can still bloom in partial shade, they won’t give as many blooms as they will in full sun. These are perennial plants that are very attractive to bees and keep them engaged all throughout summer. The flowers are pollen-rich and provide a lot of sweet nectar to bees. 

17. Pansy

Also known as the viola, they are some of the most romantic flowers ever. This flower has five petals and is spherical in shape. These flowers have a very unique and sweet aroma. You can instantly recognize a pansy from its smell. And so can bees!

Bees are more attracted to aromatic flowers and this flower’s aroma has a lot of sweet aromas which is attractive to bees. The flowers that are yellow or blue in color have the most aroma in them. 

18. Sea Holly

Sea Holly which is also known as Eryngium is one of the most unique looking blooms you can bring to your garden. They have spiny leaves that look magnificent. This exotic beauty has beautiful tassel-like blossoms and attracts a lot of bees.

They have multiple uses and hence are very popular amongst gardeners. They are relatively low maintenance and very flexible, hence I assure you, you won’t regret planting these in your garden. 

19. Snapdragon

It is also known as Antirrhinum majus and is one of those flowers that thrive in the winter. They love the frost and you rarely see them during summer. But if you water them regularly and give them proper nourishment they might even last till autumn.

These flowers bloom in the bottom of the stalk and then gradually work their way up to the top. These flowers have a closed center and hence they rely on the heavier bumblebees to help them with their pollination. They have sweet nectar and look very stunning and regal in gardens. 

20. Ninebark

Also known as Physocarpus opulifolius these flowers are often seen and landscaping. True to its name, its bark can be peeled in nine thin layers. Their leaves are a unique color of dark green to almost reddish-brown.

These plants prefer to be planted in an area that gets full sun. They sprout the most gorgeous looking pink or white flowers. They attract a lot of bees and butterflies as they bloom in late spring and last all throughout summer. 

21. Borage

Also known as starflower or bee bush this plant will be a lovely addition to your garden. With bee bush, as its name, you can only guess the number of bees it attracts. It has a lot of medicinal purposes and is also edible.

The plant can grow as tall as 3 feet and as wide as 2 feet. Hence it does not take a lot of space and will be perfect for your garden. 

22. New York Ironweed

Also known as Vernonia noveboracensis this [perennial grows as tall as 5-8 feet in height. It has dark blue and purplish flower heads and the flowers are relatively small with flat heads. Its vibrant colors attract a lot of bees and butterflies. They flower around the late September months and are essential plants for generating pollination during the winter months. 

23. Milkweed

This plant even though is considered a weed can be highly useful in a garden. Most people write this plant off without knowing how useful it can be. Also known as Asclepias syriaca it can usually be found alongside roads and ditches.

But it’s true use comes in summer when it generates a lot of pollination for your garden. They attract a lot of bees and butterflies because of their vibrant colors and sweet nectar. 

24. Lilac 

Even though these plants do not originate in America you can see them everywhere, especially in North America. Also known as Syringa vulgaris they are known to originate in the European and Asian regions. They are very low maintenance and do not have a lot of needs.

These plants are pretty tall and grow up to 5 to 15 feet tall depending on their type. They have a very sweet fragrance that instantly draws bees to them. While looking very rich and stunning, they also are a great hot spot for bees

25. Joe Pye Weeds

Also known as Eupatorium purpureum these plants thrive in summer. They need the full sun and well-drained soil. They come in a variety of vibrant colors such as pink and purple which instantly attracts bees and butterflies to them.

These flowers can also tolerate the wet weather up to a certain limit and hence you will have a prolonged bloom time which is perfect for pollination in your garden.

26. Helen’s flower

This flower might be one of the most beautiful ones on this list. It looks almost royal and timeless. These flowers grow in the late summer months and thrive in a wet and watery climate.

They look very boring and plain until they sprout their beautiful blooms around the monsoon months. These flowers attract a lot of bees and butterflies and will be an absolute beauty in your garden.

27. Lupine

Last but not least we have lupine. It comes in a stunning pink, lavender, or sunshine color that can easily brighten up anyone’s day. These plants need to be planted in the full sun and need well-drained soil.

While it can tolerate being planted in partial shade, it won’t bloom as well as it would have in full sun. This summer plant attracts a lot of bees as it is very vibrant. This flower starts blooming in late spring and lasts all throughout summer and hence bees love it. 

Well, there you have it. 27 flowers that will easily attract bees to your garden and trigger pollination. By now you should know exactly what bees require in a plant and what plant will suit your needs the best.

You don’t need to be a professional gardener to grow any of these plants. Almost all of them are relatively low maintenance and will be a gorgeous addition to your garden. Thanks for reading and have a bee-utiful day ahead.


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