15 Flowers That Will Attract Bees and Boost Pollination

Attracting native bees and pollinators to your property is vital for several reasons. These creatures play a key role in pollinating our gardens’ fruits, vegetables, and flowers, ensuring successful harvests. They also provide essential food for wildlife, such as baby birds, supporting biodiversity. Native pollinators are crucial for maintaining healthy ecosystems, but their populations are severely declining due to habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change.

By creating pollinator-friendly gardens with diverse, nectar-rich plants, we can help reverse this trend and support the environment.

Planting native plants is always best, as they are adapted to local conditions and provide optimal resources for native pollinators. Find out which plants are native to your region to maximize your garden’s positive impact.

The Role of Bees

Black-eyed susan flowers.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Bees are indispensable to the ecosystem, playing a critical role in pollination, which is essential for the reproduction of many plants and the production of fruits and vegetables. Native bees, in particular, are highly effective pollinators, often outperforming the European honey bee due to their specialized relationships with local flora.

These native species contribute significantly to biodiversity by supporting the growth of native plants, which in turn provide habitat and food for other wildlife. Unlike the European honey bee, introduced for agricultural purposes and the human love of honey, native bees are integral to maintaining the balance and health of their natural environments.

Their decline poses a serious threat to ecosystem stability, making their conservation paramount.

Catmint

Catmint flowers in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Catmint, known for its aromatic foliage and clusters of purple-blue flowers, is a magnet for bees. The blossoms are rich in nectar, making them a favorite for pollinators. This hardy perennial thrives in a variety of soil types and requires minimal maintenance, making it an excellent choice for gardeners looking to attract bees while adding a touch of soft color to their landscape. The long blooming period from late spring to early fall ensures a steady food source for bees throughout the growing season.

Calendula

Calendula flowers in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Calendula, often called pot marigold, produces bright orange and yellow flowers that are eye-catching and highly attractive to bees. They come in countless varieties.

These flowers are easy to grow and thrive in garden beds and containers. Calendula’s long blooming season, which spans from early summer to the first frost, provides bees with a reliable source of nectar and pollen. Its petals are also edible, adding a splash of color to salads and other dishes.

Bee Balm

Close-up shot of purple Monarda flowers growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Bee Balm, or Monarda, is a vibrant and aromatic flower that comes in shades of red, pink, purple, and white. Known for its distinctive tubular flowers, Bee Balm is particularly attractive to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. This plant flourishes in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. Bee Balm’s summer blooms not only enhance the garden’s visual appeal but also support the local bee population by providing ample nectar.

Sedum

Sedum flowers growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Sedum, also known as stonecrop, is a succulent that offers a delightful array of star-shaped flowers ranging from pink and red to yellow and white. These flowers appear in late summer and autumn when other nectar sources are dwindling. Sedum is drought-tolerant and thrives in well-drained soil, making it a low-maintenance option for attracting bees. Its late-season blooms ensure bees can access nectar as they prepare for winter.

Lavender

Cropped photo of a woman holding a lavender bouquet in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Lavender is celebrated for its soothing fragrance and beautiful spikes of purple flowers. This perennial herb is highly attractive to bees, who flock to its nectar-rich blooms from early summer to late fall. Lavender thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, making it a popular choice for herb gardens, borders, and containers. The presence of lavender in the garden not only supports bee populations but also adds a touch of elegance and a calming aroma to outdoor spaces.

Borage

Borage flowers growing in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Borage, with its striking blue, star-shaped flowers, is a favorite among bees. This annual herb is easy to grow and self-seeds readily, ensuring a continuous supply of blooms throughout the growing season. Borage thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, making it a versatile addition to any garden. The flowers are edible, often used to garnish salads and desserts, and their high nectar content makes them a valuable resource for bees.

Foxglove

Foxglove flowers in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Foxglove is known for its tall spires of tubular flowers that come in shades of purple, pink, white, and yellow. These biennial plants are particularly attractive to bees due to their deep, nectar-filled blooms. Foxglove prefers partial shade and well-drained soil, making it suitable for woodland gardens and shaded borders. The dramatic height and colorful flowers of foxglove add vertical interest to the garden while providing a reliable food source for bees.

Crocus

Crocus flowers growing in the grass.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Crocus flowers are among the first to bloom in early spring, offering a vital source of nectar and pollen for bees emerging from winter hibernation. These low-growing bulbs produce delicate, cup-shaped flowers in a range of colors, including purple, yellow, and white. Crocuses thrive in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Planting crocuses in lawns, borders, and rock gardens not only heralds the arrival of spring but also supports early-season pollinators.

Aster

Bee on an aster flower in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Asters are a late-season favorite for bees, blooming from late summer into fall when many other flowers have faded. These perennials produce clusters of daisy-like flowers in shades of purple, pink, blue, and white. Asters prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Their abundant blooms provide a crucial nectar source for bees preparing for winter, making asters a valuable addition to any pollinator-friendly garden.

Joe Pye Weed

Butterfly perched on top of Joe Pye weed flowers in the forest.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Joe Pye Weed is a tall, robust perennial known for its clusters of mauve-pink flowers that bloom in late summer and early fall. This plant thrives in moist, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Its large, fragrant flower heads are highly attractive to bees and butterflies, providing a significant nectar source during a critical time of the year. Joe Pye Weed adds height and a natural, wildflower look to gardens, supporting pollinators with its abundant blooms.

Sunflower

A field of sunflower.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Sunflowers are iconic for their large, sunny faces and tall stalks. These annuals are incredibly attractive to bees, offering ample nectar and pollen throughout the summer. Sunflowers thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, making them a cheerful and practical addition to any garden. Beyond their pollinator-friendly properties, sunflowers can provide edible seeds for both humans and wildlife, making them a multifunctional garden favorite.

Related: 13 Tips To Grow Sunflowers for Beautiful Blooms & Tasty Seeds

Goldenrod

Butterfly perched on a goldenrod flower on a sunny day.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Goldenrod is a late-summer bloomer that produces vibrant yellow flower clusters, attracting a multitude of bees and other pollinators. This hardy perennial thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, often growing in meadows and along roadsides. Goldenrod’s late-season blooms provide an important nectar source for bees as they prepare for winter, ensuring a continuous supply of food when other plants have ceased flowering.

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed susan flowers.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Black-eyed Susan is a hardy perennial known for its bright yellow petals and dark brown centers. These cheerful flowers bloom from mid-summer to fall, attracting bees with their abundant nectar and pollen. Black-eyed Susans prefer full sun and well-drained soil, making them a versatile and low-maintenance addition to any garden. Their prolonged blooming period and vibrant colors make them a staple in pollinator-friendly landscapes.

Coneflower

Coneflowers in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Coneflowers, or Echinacea, are popular for their daisy-like flowers with prominent central cones and petals that range from purple and pink to yellow and white. These perennials bloom from mid-summer to early fall, providing a rich nectar source for bees. Coneflowers thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, making them easy to grow in various garden settings. Their long-lasting blooms and striking appearance make them a favorite among gardeners and pollinators alike.

Phlox

Purple phlox paniculata flowers in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Phlox is a versatile perennial that produces fragrant, star-shaped flowers in clusters ranging from white and pink to red and purple. Blooming from mid-summer to early fall, Phlox attracts bees with its sweet scent and plentiful nectar. This plant thrives in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Whether used in borders, rock gardens, or as ground cover, Phlox adds a splash of color and supports the local bee population with its extended flowering period.

Flowers & Plants For Hummingbirds

Phlox paniculata flowers in the garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Learn More: 10 Best Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds (With a Homemade Nectar Recipe)

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