Plants Bees Love

If you plant a garden for the bees, your vegetables will love you for it!

Because vegetables require pollination to set fruit, growing plants bees love near your vegetable garden increases your harvest. Pollination happens when the wind blows the pollen from a male flower to a female flower or when a bee feeds on a male flower followed by a female flower thus spreading the pollen and fertilizing the female flower. If you grow plants bees love near your vegetable garden, the bees will most likely share the love with your vegetables, thus pollinating your veggies and giving you a bigger harvest!

Try planting these six plants bees love

1. Caryopteris

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The number one bee attracting plant is Caryopteris! These shrubs look alive with all the bees buzzing around on them. There must be fifty or more bees on each plant when it is flowering.
Caryopyeris x clandonensis ‘White Surprise’, shown above, is a newer variety with interesting variegation and blue flowers starting in late summer and lasting throughout the fall. This drought tolerant shrub performs well in a sunny location. They especially love slopes and well-drained areas.

2. Eryngium
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Not only do the bees love Eryngium, they make fabulous cut flowers. Grow them in a low water perennial bed because they are also drought tolerant!

3. Geranium ‘Rozanne’
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Geranium ‘Rozanne’ attracts a fraction of the bees that Caryopyeris do when they are in bloom, however they do it over an extremely long period. Blooming June-October, this perennial attracts bees though out the entire growing season for most vegetables. Starting to bloom before your cucumbers have flowers and well after your pumpkins turn orange.

4. Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’
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Coreopsis Zagreb offers mid-summer nectar to bees. This hardy, drought tolerant variety likes full sun and dislikes wet feet. The bright yellow flowers pack quite a show.

5. Lavender
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Throughout late spring and early summer each Lavender plant in my yard feeds no less than 3-4 bees at anytime during daylight hours. Having them planted near the veggies encourages the bees to pollinate them, though I’m not sure they ever leave the Lavender until the blooms dry up just after the squash, cucumbers and pumpkins begin flowering profusely. Plant will a late summer and fall bloomer like Caryopteris for mega bees throughout the growing season.

6. Oregano
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Oregano will endure neglect and infertile soil. My Oregano bloomed the second year throughout spring, summer and fall. Submerged in flowers, I harvested them anyway using the fresh leaves to flavor all of my dishes leaving the long stems and flowers for vases. Trust me, this is far better than drying the herb.

Why perennials?

Plants bees love come in many forms. Imagine for a moment buying one bee-loving plant each year for your garden and every year, they come back bigger and better. Eventually, you divide them to make two or more plants bees love. You might even share them with a friend trade them for a new plant. That’s how a bee-loving garden grows on a budget. Why else grow perennials? Most perennials require less water than annuals. The six on this post are all drought tolerant and low maintenance for your gardening enjoyment.