Are you trying to attract more bees?
Maybe you would like to better your vegetable garden’s pollination rate or maybe you want to start a pollinator garden.
I have created a list for you of flowering Purple Plants that will help to draw bees into your yard.
Firstly…Practice These 2 Things To Help Ensure A Healthy Garden
First…No chemicals. Absolutely none. Not even the organic ones. Not even the so-called natural stuff ( I hear and read a lot of people say… just read the label, it’ll tell you when it is safest to spray.) It doesn’t matter….. poison in the garden in the morning or evening is still poison in the garden). Check out this post for more info: www.whyyoushouldgardenorganically.com
The second….is to have something in bloom from Early spring to late fall. This will ensure the bees have food to sustain them and keep them around.
(While perennials are my favorite….I have a few annuals listed that the bees love just as much.)
1.) Coneflower “Echinacea purpurea”
The bumblebees and carpenter bees love this flower and the yellow finches flock to the seed heads.
I am zone 7 – 7b and this flower is a native here which is a bonus (if you can, always go with natives because the bees will visit what they know first.)
2.) Verbena Bonariensis – I love this plant and so do the bees! It will start blooming in May and keep blooming til frost.
I started some verbena last year from seed and planted it out mid-to-late summer. It bloomed into fall and never died back….on April 5th the following year it was still standing and tons of new growth was emerging, all I need to do now is cut back the old…( you will need gloves to do this because last year’s stems are prickly.)
3.) Bee Balm – Monarda is in the mint family and some common names are bergamot, Oswego tea, and horsemint. This flower to me is fragile, and the bees go crazy over it. Monarda can get pretty tall (2′- 4.5′). This particular color as you can see is a very pale purple.
4.) Giant Ironweed – Love this stuff and it is a giant – reaching up to around 6′ easily. This is another very important native to my area which is Southeast TN. You will usually find it in ditches along roadsides or in fields. I took this picture at one of my favorite places in my town, Reflection Riding.
A great way to see if you have any in your yard is to let an area grow…create yourself a little meadow.
5.) Giant Allium – I was delighted to find a small area of this growing on the property we bought. The Bumblebees love it! To me it is a Very light purple…to some, it may seem like a lavender. Oh…and it makes a good cut flower to enjoy.
6.) Liatris – I haven’t personally grown this plant yet but I plan to. I’m planning to start some this fall…I will let you know how it turns out. You can be sure that the bees love it!
7.) Lavender – I love this plant when I can get it to grow. I finally stopped fussing over it (with the exception of watering it in well for the first couple weeks so it could set root) and just planted it out in poor well-drained soil in full sun and it did well. The bees love it!
8.) Asters – One of my favorites mainly because it grows wild all over my property. These asters start blooming in the fall and are important for the Queen Bumblebees.
If you are on a budget and cannot afford to buy many plants, then just let an area in your yard grow (create a mini meadow)…see what comes up.
You can also just not mow your grass so often in the Spring so that the clover can bloom, as this is one of the first sources of food for the bees.
Also, leave out shallow dishes of water with rocks in them….bees need water!
Honey bees are not the only bees that will be visiting your garden. Your native bees will be your biggest pollinators….a lot are tiny and some do resemble honey bees. Check out this post for more info on Native Bees. www.4waysyoucanhelpnativebees.com
Happy Planting and Enjoy the Bees!