50 USEFUL Plants that Attract Bees to Your Garden

How Do You Attract Bees to Your Garden for Pollination?

bee head

And What Are the Best Plants to Attract Bees to Your Garden?

These are two common, but sometimes difficult questions to answer for Gardeners.

But they don’t have to be!

Below, is a list of the 50 Best Plants that Attract Bees to Your Garden!

Not only this, but these plants can also be harvested for other uses!

And if you scroll further down you’ll learn How to Attract Bees to Your Garden in 10 Simple Ways!


50 USEFUL Plants that Attract Bees

Before we review 50 USEFUL Plants that Attract Bees, it is first important to remember two important factors when finding USEFUL Plants that Attract Bees.

1. Easy to Grow Plants

hardiness zone map

You should grow plants that are meant for your hardiness zone or are native to where you live. These are typically the easier plants to grow in your location.

Find what hardiness zone you are in: USDA Plant Hardinesss Zone Finder

2. Easy to Find Plants

Buy plants at your local nursery and if you can’t find it there or on Amazon then it most likely means it will be a hard plant to find.


Spring Season Plants that Attract Bees (#1-7)

1. Blueberry Bushes

blueberry bush
  • Genus: Vaccinium
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 6 feet x 4 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

Blueberry Bushes are a great addition to your garden.

They provide delicious and nutritious fruit every year. They are relatively easy to care for. And they are a great plant that flowers in the spring to attract bees.

And if you want to learn how to grow blueberries then I recommend watching the below video:

Blueberries grow best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 5.0
  • And should be watered weekly

2. Crabapple Tree

crabapple
  • Genus: Malus Sylvestris
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 15 feet x 15 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

Crabapple Trees serve many purposes. When they bloom they are absolutely gorgeous. They are also great cross-pollinators for most fruit trees.

Not only this, but they can grow in a wide range of zones and soil types.

Best of all is that they are one of the best types of trees that attract bees.

Crabapples grow best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil or Peaty soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.0 to 8.0
  • And should be watered Bi-Weekly

3. Hazelnut Tree

hazelnut
  • Genus: Corylus
  • Hardiness Zone: 5 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 18 feet x 18 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

Hazelnuts are the perfect, easy to grow, disease-resistant nuts for YOU!

They are great for someone looking to add to their garden landscape. They are also easy to crack and tasty nuts that look beautiful in the fall.

Best of all is that they are one of the best nuts and plants to attract bees!

Hazelnuts grow best in:

  • A loamy, peaty, or silty soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.0 -7.0
  • And should be watered bi-weekly

4. Cranberry

cranberry
  • Genus: Vaccinium Oxycoccus
  • Hardiness Zone: 2 to 7
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 1 feet x 3 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

When you think of cranberries you probably think of Thanksgiving. But these shrubs are so much more!

They are an excellent ground cover that is extremely cold hardy and easy to maintain.

In addition, they are the perfect tart fruit for muffins, desserts, and other meals.

Throw in that they are a great plant that attracts bees and you can’t beat it!

Cranberries grow best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 4.0-5.0
  • And should be watered weekly

5. Chives

chives
  • Genus: Allium schoenoprasum
  • Hardiness Zone: 3 to 7
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 1 foot x 1 foot
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

Chives may be one of the most underrated herbs out there.

They can be used in salads, potato dishes, sauces, omelets, and so much more!

The best part about this versatile herb though is that it is a great plant that attracts bees to your garden!

Chives grow best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.07.0
  • And should be watered bi-weekly

6. Rosemary

rosemary
  • Genus: Salvia Rosemarinus
  • Hardiness Zone: 3 to 7
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 2 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

An interesting fact about Rosemary. There were tales of Greek Goddesses draping it around their necks in poems and stories you once read in school.

Since we aren’t Greek Goddesses lets focus on some of its great uses. Rosemary can be used as a garnish, add flavor to many dishes, and is a perfect complement for chicken and meat.

Not only this, it is a drought-resistant herb and another great plant to attract bees to your garden.

Rosemary grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.07.5
  • And should be watered bi-weekly

7. Lilac

lilac
  • Genus: Syringa
  • Hardiness Zone: 3 to 7
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 15 feet x 12 feet
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

Lilac is one of those plants that have more uses than we know about. It is great for skin rashes, stomach problems, cuts, and sunburns.

Depending on the type of tree or bush you get it can be a beautiful part of your landscape or a nice complement to your garden.

Regardless, you cannot forget its smell when it blooms. Neither do bees. This is a favorite of bees in almost every region of the country!

Lilac grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil or peaty soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.5-7.0
  • And should be watered monthly


Summer Season (#8-17)

8. Blackberry Bushes

blackberry
  • Genus: Rubus
  • Hardiness Zone: 6 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 5 feet x 4 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

Are you interested in a self-sufficient fruit plant?

Then add blackberry vines to your homestead. Blackberries are a great plant that attracts bees. In addition, it is one of the tastiest berries out there.

If you are interested in food packed with nutrition and antioxidants then this is for you!

If you want to learn how to grow blackberries then watch the below video:

Blackberries grow best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 7.0
  • And should be watered monthly

9. Catnip

catnip
  • Genus: Nepeta Cataria
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 2 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

Catnip may be the jack of all trades when it comes to herbs.

It is used by us to help with the common cold. It has been used to repel insects. And most famously it has been used as a recreational substance by cats.

But don’t forget one of its most underrated benefits: It is a great plant to attract bees.

Catnip grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.07.5
  • And should be watered bi-weekly

10. Lavender

lavender
  • Genus: Lavandula
  • Hardiness Zone: 5 to 9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 3 feet x 3 feet
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

Lavender may be my favorite plant on this list!

It smells fantastic, has so many herbal and medicinal uses, and is a great herb to add color to your garden

It is also one of the best plants that attract bees on this list!

Lavender grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.07.5
  • And should be watered bi-weekly

11. Raspberry Bushes

raspberry
  • Genus: Rubus Idaeus
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 5 feet x 4 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

This is the last of the berry bushes on this blog. And like blueberries and blackberries, it is packed with incredible nutrients.

You can eat raspberries raw. Create sauces and syrups. And bake pies with them. Best of all they are another great plant to attract bees.

If you want to grow raspberries then I recommend viewing the below video:

Raspberries grow best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 5.5-6.5
  • And should be watered monthly

12. Sunflower

sunflower
  • Genus: Helianthus
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 9
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Size: 12 feet x 1 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

Did you know there are over 70 types of sunflowers?

I’ll let you decide what type you should grow in your garden.

Like all the other plants, sunflowers provide great nutrients to us. In addition, it is a great pollinator for birds. And bees!

Sunflowers grow best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil or peaty soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.07.5
  • And should be watered weekly

13. Mint

mint
  • Genus: Mentha
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 2 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

Did you know Mint is not only for Mint Juleps at the Kentucky Derby?

They are amazing at repelling pest while attracting beneficial insects. In addition, they are one of the few deer-resistant herbs.

They spread incredibly quickly and wide. In addition, they are used in almost all Thai dishes around the world.

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.5-7.0
  • And should be watered monthly

14. Thyme

thyme
  • Genus: Thymus
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 2 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

An aromatic evergreen herb that has been used throughout history. Thyme is one of the few herbs that was used as an “anti-biotic” before antibiotics were created.

In addition, Thyme can be used in many food dishes, along with tea. A distant relative of oregano and mint, it is a great plant to attract bees.

Thyme grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.08.0
  • And should be watered bi-weekly

15. Basil

basil
  • Genus: Ocimum Basilicum
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Size: 2 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

If you have ever had pesto before then you know just how amazing Basil is.

This herb originated from Italy and has an incomparable smell. It is great for pesto, Caprese salads, and pasta.

Not only this, but it is the perfect herb to be planted in a pot. This means you can move it anywhere to attract bees to the perfect location.

Basil grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 5.5-7.5
  • And should be watered weekly

16. Wallflower

wallflower
  • Genus: Erysimum
  • Hardiness Zone: 3 to 10
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Size: 3 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

Wallflower is one of those plants that few people grow and even fewer use.

But lucky for you, the garden dad has grown it and highly recommends planting.

Not only is it a great plant to attract bees, but it can be used to help with constipation, gallbladder disease, etc.

Wallflower grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 7.0-9.0
  • And should be watered monthly

17. Sage

sage
  • Genus: Salvia Officinalis
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 2 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

As you can tell by now that herbs are some of the best plants to attract bees and to be used for other purposes.

Sage happens to be one of the most versatile herbs.

It is great in ravioli. Helps with stomach pain. And has even been linked to preventing memory loss.

No wonder why bees are attracted to it!

Sage grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.07.0
  • And should be watered weekly


Fall Season (#18-25)

18. Pumpkin

pumpkin
  • Genus: Cucurbita
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Size: 2 feet x 4 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

When you think of Halloween pumpkins are one of the first things that come to mind.

Pumpkins have amazing uses. Their seeds are superfoods. They can be used for the famous pumpkin pie. And they are unbelievable for attracting bees.

Pumpkins grow best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 5.5-7.5
  • And should be watered weekly

19. Squash

squash
  • Genus: Cucurbita
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Size: 1 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

Pumpkins and squash are part of the same food group. Yet they have different uses and can attract different types of bees.

This may not be news to you. But do you want to know something most gardeners don’t?

Plant these by each other and you have a much greater chance of attracting MORE and DIFFERENT types of bees.

Squash grow best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 7.0
  • And should be watered weekly

20. Aster

Aster
  • Genus: Asteraceae
  • Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 6 feet x 4 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

This is one beautiful flower that blooms late.

It can be used for stomach pains, fever, and earaches. Not only this but it great true flower for attracting bees to your garden.

Aster Grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 5.5-6.5
  • And should be watered monthly

21. Goldenrod

goldenrod
  • Genus: Solidago
  • Hardiness Zone: 4 to 9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 10 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

Have you ever had a kidney stone? I have been told it is worse than child birth.

Goldenrods can be used to help prevent kidney stones. In addition, they have a great smell and are a beautiful flower.

Just one of many reasons why bees are attracted to them and you should plant them.

Goldenrod grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 5.5-7.5
  • And should be watered monthly

22. Cornflower

cornflower
  • Genus: Knapweeds
  • Hardiness Zone: 2 to 10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial or Annual
  • Size: 1 foot x 1 foot
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

If you haven’t heard of cornflower you aren’t alone.

But this is one of those flowers you HAVE to plant.

Beautiful blue-ish, purple colors that can be used as a stimulant in tea. In addition, it is just another flower that attracts bees.

Cornflower grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of Any
  • And should be watered monthly

23. Buckwheat

buckwheat
  • Genus: Fagopyrum
  • Hardiness Zone: 7 to 10
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Size: 4 feet x 2 feet
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

Buckwheat. It’s used for flour, pancakes, bread, etc.

But did you know that it is actually a flower that attracts bees?

And it can be used to help improve circulation?

This is a great flower if you are interested in diversifying your garden.

If you are interested in further diversifying your gardening skills I highly recommend reading one of the many books available on Amazon.

Buckwheat grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 4.5
  • And should be watered monthly

24. Hyssop

hyssop
  • Genus: Hyssopus
  • Hardiness Zone: 3 to 9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Size: 1 foot x 1 foot
  • Light Requirement: Full-Sun

A lot of gardeners sometimes mistake hyssop for lavender.

While they look the same and have some similar uses Hyssop is a great addition to planting lavender. 

It can attract a variety of bees and again can be used as a home remedy for numerous illnesses.

Hyssop grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.0-7.0
  • And should be watered monthly

25. Cilantro

cilantro
  • Genus: Coriandrum
  • Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Size: 1 foot x 1 foot
  • Light Requirement: Partial-Sun

Cilantro is great for salsa. It can add a kick for olive oil. And is a great way to add flavor to salads and pasta.

In addition, it is a great complement to a herb gardenAnd even better it can attract certain types of bees that other herbs cannot.

Cilantro grows best in:

  • A loamy, well-draining soil
  • Acidity pH of 6.08.0
  • And should be watered weekly


25 MORE Plants that Attract Bees

bee flying

Below, are 25 more plants and flowers that attract bees.

These plants do a great job of attracting bees to the garden.

It should be noted these plants and flowers are not as useful as the first 25 on the list and may not be native to your hardiness zone.

26. Blacked-Eyed Susan

27. Caltrop

28. Creosote Bush

29. Currant

30. Elderberry

31. Huckelberry

32.Joe-Pye Weed

33. Lupine

34. Oregon Grape

35. Penstemon

36. Purple Coneflower

37. Rabbit-Brush

38. Rhododenran

39. Scorpion-Weed

40. Snowberry

41. Stone Crop

42. Willow

43. Giant Hyssop

44. Cotoneaster

45. Marjoram

46. Zinnia

47. Globethistle

48. Bee-Balm

49. Wild Lilac

50. Wild Buckwheat


The BEST Way to Attract Bees!

By now you have some general tips on what plants attract bees.

You also have 50 GREAT plants that can be used to attract bees.

In addition, these are GREAT plants that have a variety of uses. Whether you want to use them for food, home remedies, or for potpourri you can’t go wrong with any of them.

But I have one final tip for youAnd it is the BEST.

If you want to attract more bees and a better variety you will want to do this: Plant flowers, vegetables, herbs, and fruits that bloom during different seasons. This will keep bees coming all year to better pollinate your garden.


5 Frequently Asked Questions

#1. What plants should be planted together?

If you want to have the greatest success at attracting bees to your garden then you should companion plant.

Companion plant is when you plant flowers, vegetables, herbs, and trees next to other plants that promote a symbiotic growth.

Below, are several flowers, vegetables, herbs, and trees that should be planted together:

  • Basil – You can plant basil next to any plant on the list to increase your chance of producing more flowers and attracting more bees.
  • Chives – You can plant chives next to any berry plant to increase your likelihood of attracting more bees to your garden.
  • Thyme – You can plant Thyme next to any garden crop to attract more bees
  • Plant your berry bush next to each other to encourage a more diverse group of beer pollinators
  • Plant any flower on this list next to each other. This will dramatically increase the number of bees you receive
  • Crabapple trees should be planted near your garden to increase cross-pollination and to increase the number of bees to your garden.


#2. What’s the Best Way to Attract Bees?

bee on plant

There are 10 general ways to attract bees to your garden:

  1. Plant Nectar-Rich plants – Nectar provides bees with sugar. This is their main source of energy. Without it, they cannot work or pollinate.
  2. Plant Pollen-Rich plants – Pollen provides bees with proteins and fats. Without these, they cannot live.
  3. Plant Native Species – Plant species that are native to where you and your bees live. The more recognizable a plant is to bees the more likely they are to visit it.
  4. Plant Non-Invasive Species – Don’t plant Invasive Species. They take over native and bee-friendly plants. This means fewer bees to pollinate your garden!
  5. Make a Bee-Bath – Provide a shallow plate at ground level near your garden. Add rocks. Add fresh water (don’t submerge the rocks). This will provide a valuable source of water for your bees.
  6. Build a Bee-Hive – Watch this great video on how to build a bee-hive: Beehiving.
  7. Location, Location, Location – Placing your Bee-Hive and Bee-Bath in the right location is essential. Place it is a sunny area that is not exposed to constant winds.
  8. Don’t use Pesticides – If you use pesticides on your property it will kill both plants that attract bees and bees themselves.
  9. Use Heirloom Plants – Look for plants or seeds that don’t contain neonicotinoids. If it has this it means it has been treated with pesticides that will repel or kill bees.
  10. Use Multi-Purpose Attractors – Find plants that will not only attract bees but also butterflies and hummingbirds. These are also great pollinators for your garden.


#3. How do you Make a Bee-Garden?

Making a Bee-Friendly Garden is easy.

Plant your garden as you normally would, but add any of the above 50 plants, trees, and flowers from above to your garden. This will lead to an increase in bees.

Or you can watch the below video to learn more about how to create a bee-friendly garden!


#4. What Plants Attract Bees & Hummingbirds?

Below, are plants that Attract Bees & Hummingbirds

  1. Petunia
  2. Dahlia
  3. Coral Bells
  4. Geranium
  5. Iris
  6. Trumpet Vine
  7. Honeysuckle
  8. Columbine
  9. Azalea
  10. Flowering Tobacco


#5. What Plants Attract Bees & Butterflies?

Plants That Attract Butterflies

  1. Alyssum
  2. Butterfly Bush
  3. Cosmos
  4. Calendula
  5. Daylily
  6. Fennel
  7. Delphinium
  8. Oregano
  9. Milkweed
  10. Nettle


What’s Next?

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