Flowers that Attract Bees

Trying to entice bees into your landscape may seem foolish to some people.

After all, those bees have stingers and can inflict pain on any human that gets too close to them.

But bees are actually more beneficial than harmful and without them flower, vegetable, nut and fruit production would be severely curtailed.

These small insects are the number one natural pollinator and by planting certain flowers that attract bees you will be providing them with food so they can do their job and increase their population.

Any flower that provides nectar, pollen and a flat landing surface will be attractive to bees in your areas.

However, there are a few specific flowers that seem to attract them more than others, plus these flowers are easy-to-grow and provide landscape color and beauty.

Aster

aster perennial or annual

Perennial asters (Aster species) create six inch tall flower mounds that produces an abundant of white, pink, purple or blue blooms from late summer until the first frost of fall. Hardy in zones 3 to 8. Sow seeds directly into prepared soil after all danger of frost has past in the spring.

Calendula 

Calendula flower

Brilliant orange blooms appear in mid-summer on tall (1-2 feet) annual calendula (Calendula species) plants.

Blooms may be single or double and also come in a variety of colors besides orange, including yellow and cream.

Sow seeds directly into prepared soil after all danger of frost has past in the spring.

Bee Balm

picture of bee balm flower

Bee Balm (Monarda species) is a native wildflower that is hardy in zones 3-9.  

This tall plant will provide colorful, fragrant flowers all summer when planted in a location that receives plenty of moisture and full sun.

Bee Balm plants are not heat or drought tolerant, and will not grow well under either extreme condition.

If you live in a region with extreme summer heat, plant the Bee Balm in a garden location that will be shaded from the afternoon sun and give the plants plenty of water throughout the summer.

In addition to attracting bees, this fragrant flower is also a  favorite of hummingbirds and can be used for making tea. Start with plants or seeds after soil warms up in spring.

Coreopsis

coreopsis plant

Drought-tolerant, easy-care coreopsis (Coreopsis) will attract bees, butterflies and birds all summer with its flat bloom that come in colors of red, yellow, pink, orange or maroon.

This perennial in hardy in zones 3 to 11 and reaches a mature height of between 8 inches and 4 feet depending on variety planted.

Sow seeds directly into prepared soil after all danger of frost has past in the spring.

Cosmos 

what is cosmos flower

Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) comes in a wide range of bloom colors and plants will reach a mature height of between 1 and 6 feet, depending on variety planted.

Hardy in growing zones 3-11,  this annual flower prefers to be planted in full sun, but will grow well almost anywhere.

Sow seeds directly into garden soil after all danger of frost has past or plant bedding plants after soil  has warmed in the spring.

Dahlias

dahlias care

Dahlias (Dahlia) are easy-care flowers that perform their best during the hot, dry days of July, August and September when most other flowers wilt by the wayside.

Dahlias are hardy in zones 8-10 and come in a wide variety of bloom colors and heights and will attract a steady stream of bee and birds.

Marigolds

marigolds

Marigolds (Tagetes patula) are easy-to-grow flowers that are droguht-tolerant, require little care and will re-seed themselves.

There are several bloom colors and varieties available and mature heights can range from a few inches to a few feet.

Hardy in most growing zone, bees love all types of marigolds.

Rudbeckia 

Rudbeckia flower

Also known as Black-eyed Susans, rudbeckias (Rudbeckia species) and all varieties of these annual daisy-like flowers are hardy in zones 3 to 9.

Sow seeds into prepared soil after all danger of frost has past in spring.

Purple Coneflower 

purple coneflower care

Attractive to bees, butterflies and birds, purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) comes in several different bloom colors.

Tall perennial plant blooms from mid-summer through fall and provides decorative seed heads once the blooming is finished.

Hardy in zones 3 to 9 and attracts a variety of butterflies and birds.

Zinnia

zinnia plant care

 Zinnias (Zinnia species) are annuals that will produce long  lasting blooms from summer until the first killing frost of fall.

Blooms are large and range in colors from white, red, orange, yellow, purple and lilac and come in single or double petals varieties.

Plants will range in mature height from 6 inches to 3 feet, depending on variety planted and are hardy in most all planting zones.

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