Interested in BEES?
Trying to figure out what to plant that will attract more of these awesome pollinators into your garden?
This is great news!…..because not only do the BEES need our help, but all pollinators. They need us to set aside a little space for them in our yards or gardens so that they can thrive.
I have listed a handful of flowers that can do just that for you.
FLOWERS TO PLANT THAT WILL BRING IN THE POLLINATORS
1.) Purple coneflower “Echinacea purpurea“
This plant will attract an array of pollinators. Native bees, honey bees….especially the bumblebees. They will come a-buzzing, along with many varieties of butterflies and moths.
This flower loves full sun, but will also grow in part-sun (mine get part-sun in the pic above). Be sure and plant these somewhere that you can really enjoy them as they will bloom early summer thru fall, grow to 4′-5′ tall in average soil, and handle dry conditions.
2.) Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea)
Most think of clover as a weed but this plant is so important
(as is the white clover that is very common in everyone’s yards) and pretty…I think. This flower prefers full sun, well-drained soils, medium to dry moisture, and will grow to 1′-3′ high. It is also a nitrogen fixer for your soil!
And is ADORED by everything bee!
3.) Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta)
This drought-resistant plant can grow to 2′ – 4′ tall in full sun while preferring sandy soils. While in bloom early thru late summer this flower will attract all kinds of bees…from honey and minor bees to leaf-cutter and bumblebees.
4.) Lavender Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
As a member of the mint family, this plant can make you a great cup of tea….now who doesn’t love that. Aka…Licorice Hyssop, it releases the scent of licorice when you crumble the leaves (and for me that brings back the memory of licorice jelly beans from when I was a kid).
Plant this flower in full sun to part shade and it will grow to between 1′-3′ tall. It thrives in somewhat average soils (sand, loam, or clay) with medium to dry moisture and will bloom mid thru late summer, attracting an array of bees for you. This one is a hit with the pollinators!
5.) Prairie Blazingstar (Liatris pycnosstachya)
Plant this Blazingstar in a moist area that gets full sun and it will grow 2′-5′ tall. Blooming mid to late summer it will not only attract many different bees, but the butterflies love it as well, especially the monarchs.
6.) Downy Sunflower (Helianthus mollis)
The Downy Sunflower, aka….Ashy Sunflower is very low maintenance and will spread easily for you. Plant in full sun in average to poor soil (sandy and rocky) and this flower will grow to 2′-4′ tall and bloom late summer into fall.
Then sit back and watch not only the bees visit this wildflower but also the songbirds.
7.) Showy Goldenrod “Solidago speciosa“
Not only will honey and bumblebees visit this flower but songbirds as well. Plant this “showy” guy in average soils in full to part-sun and he will grow to between 1′- 4′ tall and bloom late summer thru mid-fall. These late in the season bloomers are very important for the pollinators, here are some more tips you might be interested in for the Fall season and its pollinators. https://mommyarena.com/5-fall-gardening-tips-to-help-pollinators/
8.) Tall Verbena “Verbena bonariensis“
This is by far one of my favorite pollinator flowers, aka..Purpletop Vervain, Clustertop Vervain…among others. This long-legged flower is drought tolerant and will grow to about 2′-4′ tall when planted in full sun with good rich loamy soil. This flower is super easy to harvest….makes for a great cut flower and will bloom purple from mid-summer thru fall.
9.) Cutleaf Coneflower “Rudbeckia Laciniata“
This is such a neat flower. It usually grows between 5′-7′ tall, so would make a great backdrop and addition to your pollinator garden. The bees love it. It will grow in full to part-sun and in average soil. Mine blooming (in the pic above), are in part-sun and are about 5’tall.
10.) Dandelion “Taraxacum“
We all know what this plant is and most of us have it growing in our yards, but unfortunately, most everyone thinks of it as a weed. The reason why I picked the Dandelion is that this plant is one of the most important ones…as this plant is one of the first food sources for bees and other pollinators in spring.
Try leaving a section of this super important little plant to grow and bloom in your yard! The bees will love you for it!
PLANT AND SEED BUYING TIPS
A few tips and you are off to your local nursery or your couch with a seed catalog.
- Firstly and most importantly…don’t use any chemical sprays or fertilizers (pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides)…. as these will kill your pollinators and ruin the soil.
- Secondly, buy plants and seeds that have not been treated with any of these chemicals. Look for it on the packaging, look up the company or ask a clerk. It should be labeled if so. Just be sure to not buy anything that has been grown in or sprayed with chemicals, especially “Neonicotinoids” (a systemic agricultural insecticide resembling nicotine.) Neonicotinoids can stay in the plant for up to two years and will kill its pollinators. (If You Can Buy Organic)
- Thirdly, I didn’t post Toxicity information (as pertains to humans or dogs) on each plant in this post because when I looked them up they were either listed as non-toxic or “nothing reported”(and nothing reported just means we don’t know anything yet.) As a good “Rule of Thumb” unless you know for a fact that something is 100% edible, please consider it toxic. Toxicity can have varying degrees and some are toxic to people and not animals and vice versa and different parts of a plant will have different levels of toxicity at different times of the year. So, until you know everything about a certain plant, always wear your gloves and don’t let your kids or furry family members eat them.
- And Lastly….try and plant flowers that bloom at different times (spring, summer, fall), so that the bees have a food source from early Spring thru late Fall. I made sure of that in the plant list I provided for you above.
I have listed two links below about Toxicity, ASPCA, and the University of California’s “Safe and Poisonous Garden Plants”.
Happy planting!…Go fill your yard or patio with some bee loving blooms!
Tagged: University of Vermont Extension System Department of Plant and Soil Science
Taming Wildflowers by Miriam Goldberger