Flowers. Which Flowers can you plant in your garden to help bees? A planting list with photos.

To attract bees to your garden you will need plants in flower for the months from - March to September. The bees need nectar which feeds the adult bees and the pollen is collected to feed the young.


This article includes a list of plants and flowers that are popular with bees with suggestions as to the ideal spot in the garden to plant them.

some bees like plants that have tubular shaped flowers..such as this Penstemon..

Photo: a plant with tubular shaped flowers - Penstemon.
Photo: a plant with tubular shaped flowers - Penstemon. | Source

Helping Bees by planting flowers in the garden.

Even a small area planted with flowers will be useful to the local bees population.

Native plants are more attractive to native bees than exotic flowers.

In a garden,heirloom varieties of perennials or herbs such as thyme can be a good source of foraging for the insects such as bees.

Flower colors that seem more attractive to bees are violet, white, blue, purple and yellows.

Plant one type of flower species in a patch or clump; one species will attract more than separate plants scattered about in the garden.

Diversity in the flower garden is good as there are lots of different types of bee, some specialise in visiting one type of flower.

Most bee though feed on a range of plants. If you have plants flowering through spring, summer and autumn you can attract and help different bee species.

Don’t use pesticides in your garden - bees are vulnerable when visiting gardens where they are used.

List of Flowers to plant for bees.

Flowers that bees like to visit...


  • aquileiga, astilbe,aster
  • bluebells, bugle,
  • catmint, cornflowers, campanula, coneflower/echinacea
  • daffodil,dahlia, delphinium,
  • forget-me-nots,foxglove,fuchsia,
  • geranium, hellebores penstemon, potentilla, pulmonaria
  • sea hollies (eryngium),scabious, sedum ,snapdragon, stachys,
  • thrift, verbascum, verbena

Other plants that are good for attracting bees:

Buddleia, cardoon,comfrey, fennel, globe thistle, heather, lavender, thyme and teasel. Crab apple, flowering cherry, flowering currant. Hawthorn,rhododendron.

Bees also like herbs like lavender, thyme and rosemary plants these are plants that are easy to grow.

Lavender, thyme and some types of rosemary can be grown in containers on patios and decks. These herbs also have a pleasant smell and can herbs can also be used in recipes.

Copyright notice: The text/words here are mine and they may not be used without my consent.

Flowers for bees useful planting facts acts.

Flowers for Bees.

Planting - choices:


To help bees and other pollinator insects, like butterflies, you need to provide a range of plants that will provide a succession of flowers.

This will make pollen and nectar available through the whole of the season.

It is important to provide flowers from March to September.

It is a good idea to have at least two or more nectar/pollen-rich plants in flower throughout this time.

Nectar feeds the adult bee, pollen is collected to feed the young.

Bees favour single flowers over doubles.

With double flowers the many petals make it more difficult for the bees to collect the nectar and pollen

Some bees like feeding from these plants with tubular-shaped flowers such as:

Foxgloves, snapdragons, penstemons, heathers.

Finding favourable planting postions for your flowering plants for bees and pollinating insects:


When planting your bee favourite flowering plants remember to put them in a area sheltered from strong winds and if possible in a sunny location in the garden.




Shrubs.

Good choices of shrubs would be buddleias, Japanese quince, hebes and winter-flowering honeysuckle.

For gardens with acid soil plant heathers and heaths (erica). Some are winter flowering.


Phacelia...a popular plant with bees...

A Green Manure Plant That Bees Love to visit.

Green Manure is a plant that you grow to improve the soil.

Green Manure is sown on empty land and is used between growing vegetable crops in your fruit and vegetable garden. It is beneficial to the soil and is useful to add humus to the soil .

Purple Tansy/Lacy Phacelia -

Phacelia tanacetifoliais a more elegant plant than the more common Phacelia campanularia grown in gardens. It reaches a height of a foot or more, has ferny leaves and stems which are rough and slightly hairy. It bears clusters of pale mauve or blue flowers, with very long stamens,and is a good for bees to visit.

Phacelia attracts polliantors to the fruit and vegetable garden,

Photo:Phacelia an attractive green manure plant with bees visiting the flowers.
Photo:Phacelia an attractive green manure plant with bees visiting the flowers. | Source

Marigolds.

Marigolds are easy to grow flowers that are good in the flower border or in the vegetable garden,
Marigolds are easy to grow flowers that are good in the flower border or in the vegetable garden,

Bees like flowering plants that are easy to access.

Bees prefer single flowers to doubles.
Bees prefer single flowers to doubles. | Source

Some bees like tubular shaped flowers such as this foxglove

Photo: A foxglove being visited by a bee
Photo: A foxglove being visited by a bee | Source

Echinacea flowers are one of the plants that bees like to visit

photo of bee on echinacea flower.
photo of bee on echinacea flower. | Source

Echinacea are also known as Cone Flowers, you can see why.

 photo of cone flower - echinacea flower
photo of cone flower - echinacea flower | Source

Image of a Bee for Children.

a picture of a cartoon style bee for a child to use in craft work.
a picture of a cartoon style bee for a child to use in craft work. | Source

Poem about bees for young children

A poem to help children understand the importance of bees.

Poetry about bees for children.

Do we need bees

busy little buzzy bees?

Yes,we all need bees.

Buzzy little bees.

Yellow and black striped

with pollen baskets

on their knees.

Do we need bees

busy little buzzy bees?

Why do we need bees

Busy little buzzy bees?

Bees visit our gardens

they help to make

next years flowers grow

by visiting the flowers

they make seeds

that we can sow.

Do we need bees

busy little buzzy bees?

Yes, bees are very busy

when the blossoms on the tree

by visiting the flowers

they help make the fruit

grow for you and me.

Thank you busy little bees.


link: a video for children about bees making honey.

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Comments 10 comments

2uesday profile image

2uesday 4 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday. Author

Hello bac2basics thank you for the comment and follow, it is nice to meet you here. Since I started growing food as well as flowers I have learnt more about the importance of bees. I am lucky that someone has bee hives near to my fruit growing patch.

After watching bees at work as I am working on the fruit and vegetable plot I realised that they are unlikely to sting, they are too busy working to care what you are doing unless they are 'attacked'. Wasps I have to admit I am a bit more wary of especially at the end of the summer.

I love to see the bees gathering their food the larger types of bee you can even see the full 'pollen baskets' on their 'knees'. The most bees I have had on the fruit and vegetable plot was when the phacelia came into flower I had planted it in a spare patch of ground and one day as I walked down the path the purple flower heads were covered in bees happily humming as they set to work gathering food. It was memorable because of the volume of the noise and the way the bees left and returned and at times the patch of flowers was quivering with the activity of the pollen gatherers.

I like hoverflies to visit the garden too as they are useful insects they often get mistaken for wasps but they fly in a different way to wasps, their wings move differently and they seem to pause and hover on the air which wasps do not appear to do.


bac2basics profile image

bac2basics 4 years ago from Spain

Hi 2uesday. I´m a British hubber now an ex-pat living in the Med. My garden is buzzing with bee´s as it´s full of lavender, Sage,and lots of other stuff they love. many people keep bee hive´s round here. I love to hear them buzzing away and they never ever cause a problem, just too busy collecting food. Lovely hub though. Voted you up etc and going to follow too.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 5 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday. Author

Thank you HomerMCho,

as well as flowers, I grow vegetables and fruit and this has made me aware of how important bees are to use in the garden. Our bees in the UK are vulnerable today more than in the past and I like to think that helping them is good for them and us as they do such a useful job in pollinating the fruits and flowers that we grow.


HomerMCho profile image

HomerMCho 5 years ago

I never thought of planting flowers to help bees. Thanks to this hub. I learned a lot.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 5 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday. Author

Thank you for reading this and leaving comment here, bees are fascinating to watch as they visit the flowers in the garden.


ChristinCordle12 profile image

ChristinCordle12 5 years ago

Excellent article. Very interesting.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday. Author

The flowers in the picture are Penstemons and they are popular with the bees in my garden. I like Penstemons because they come in a wide colour range and a not too tall or untidy to grow in a small garden. the link to the bumblebee conservation site has pictures of different types of bees on one of its pages. I think these will be more use to gardener's in the UK though so I will try to find a site for bee identification in the USA and add a link here to it.

Today the bees are busy in the lavender plants that are in flower and the flowering ornamental sage is another favourite of the local bees. I will add a link here to your lavender HubPage as it will be useful to readers of this page. We do get one or two hoverflies but I think I need to plant more plants that they like as hoverflies are also very helpful to gardeners.

Thank you for reading and leaving a comment, I will look for a link to bee identification and add it here.


Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 6 years ago

I have those tubular shape flowers in my garden but of orangish shade. If mine are not the same, they are very very similar. They attract a lot of bees. And this year I saw a new kind of bee that I have never seen or heard of before. These new ones are really large in size.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday. Author

Thank you D.A.L. I look forward to reading your hub article and it would be great if you could refer to this one. Watching bees when they alight on flowers fascinates me, they are so engrossed in the task. The patch of phacelia that I grow on the allotment is always a very popular spot for the bees. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment too.


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 6 years ago from Lancashire north west England

2uesday, hi, this is an informative hub and your timing on how to attract , thus help bees is perfect. There are many things going on right now to try to discover the causes of the bees demise. Hoping to do a hub about it soon I will refer readers to this hub. Well done!

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