46 Best Plants that Attract Bees | Bee Friendly Plants

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Did you know you could grow the Plants that Attract Bees and increase their productivity? Plus, the bees will help you get more flowers, too!

Best Plants that Attract Bees

Want to turn your yard into a bee haven? Our Bee Friendly Plants guide will show you the Best Plants that Attract Bees so you can enjoy a blooming garden full of healthy foliage.

What Colors Attract the Bees Most

Bees see the world differently than we do! They love bright, cheerful colors like blue, purple, and yellow. Think of pretty summer blooms—those are the ones that catch a bee’s eye (or should we say, bee’s many eyes?). And here are the colors bees hate so you also know which ones to avoid.

Best Plants that Attract Bees

1. Marjoram

Best Plants that Attract Bees 1

Botanical Name: Origanum majorana

USDA Zones: 9-10

Marjoram is a bee magnet for many reasons—it has nectar-rich flowers and it also has an irresistible aroma that is attractive to bees, even from a distance.

2. Lavender

Plants Bee-Attractive

Botanical Name: Lavandula angustifolia

USDA Zones: 5-8

Lavender plants are rich in linalool, which is a fragrant oil with a lovely fragrance. Bees come running for this one, or rather, flying.

3. Fennel

Bee-Attractive Plants g

Botanical Name: Foeniculum vulgare

USDA Zones: 4-9

Fennel has bright yellow flowers that shine under the sun. If you want bee-friendly plants, go with this one because it also has a long blooming season.

4. Pussy Willow

Plants Bee-Attractive 1

Botanical Name: Salix discolor

USDA Zones: 4-8

Pussy Willows have soft, furry buds that attract plenty of bees. These flowers are one of the first to bloom in spring and bees come to these for energy after their hibernation.

5. Heliotrope

Bee-Attractive Plants

Botanical Name: Heliotropium arborescens

USDA Zones: 10-11, annual elsewhere

Heliotropes are a great choice if you want to charm bees. These flowers have colors flowers of purple, violet, and white shades and are open–so bees can easily get to their centers.

6. Crocus

Plants Bee-Attractive 3

Botanical Name: Crocus

USDA Zones: 3-8

Crocus flowers are also early bloomers of spring and are one of the few choices for bees during this time because other flowers haven’t opened yet. Bees also love it because it produces both nectar and pollen.

7. Aster

Bee-Attractive Plants 1

Botanical Name: Aster

USDA Zones: 4 to 9

Asters are champions of late-blooming flowers, providing a much-needed food source for bees when many other flowers have faded. Plus, it’s a versatile option for your lawn.

8. Abelia (Bee Bush)

Plants Bee-Attractive 4

Botanical Name: Abelia x grandiflora

USDA Zones: 6-9

Bee Bushes are named so for a reason. These flowers bloom from early summer to fall and are packed with nectar, which bees love.

9. Lilac

Bee-Attractive Plants

Botanical Name: Syringa vulgaris

USDA Zones: 3-8

Lilac flowers have a vibrant purple color that bees love but the scent is not so good for bees, even if it smells sweet to us. Lilacs will attract bees to your garden but not as much as others.

10. Chives

Plants Bee-Attractive 5

Botanical Name: Allium schoenoprasum

USDA Zones: 3-9

Chives are wonderful flowering herbs with little purple pom-pom-like blooms that bees love. Plus, the flowers have an open structure so bees can easily consume the nectar.

11. Goldenrod

Plants That Draw Bees

Botanical Name: Solidago

USDA Zones: 3-10

Goldenrod flowers bloom late in the season which helps bees build up their reserves for the coming winter when they will hibernate. You should definitely grow them.

12. Bee Balm

Bee-Attractive Species 1

Botanical Name: Monarda

USDA Zones: 4-9

Bee Balm doesn’t just attract honeybees; it is also great for hummingbirds and butterflies. And you can always use the leaves to make tea. Amazing, right?

13. Calendula

Plants That Draw Bees 1

Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis

USDA Zones: 9-11

Calendula is not just an edible flower that you can used to flavor stews, these flowers also provide nectar for bees and will surely attract them.

14. Sedum

Bee-Attractive Species 3

Botanical Name: Sedum

USDA Zones: 3-10

Sedum flowers are tempting for bees because they have both nectar and pollen. And that, too, in late summer and fall when other flowers might be dwindling.

15. Catmint

Plants That Draw Bees 2

Botanical Name: Nepeta x faassenii

USDA Zones: 3-8

Catmint is a drought-tolerant plant that attracts bees and will also bring stray cats to your garden. Plus, the blue flowers it produces are really pretty.

16. Borage

Bee-Attractive Species 2

Botanical Name: Borago officinalis

USDA Zones: 2-11

Borage is a champion when it comes to attracting bees and for good reason, it has cucumber flavored edible leaves for you and star-shaped flowers that replenish their nectar quickly for bees.

17. Foxglove

Plants That Draw Bees 3

Botanical Name: Digitalis purpurea

USDA Zones: 4 to 9

Foxglove flowers attract bees but not just with their nectar. The nectar contains small amounts of digitalin–a compound that is rumored to be intoxicating for bees.

18. Anise Hyssop

Bee-Attractive Species 1

Botanical Name: Agastache foeniculum

USDA Zones: 4 to 8

Anise plants attract many bees and are packed with nectar. The flowers are tubular-shaped and are easy for bees to get into. And they spread a sweet fragrance.

19. Joe Pye Weed

Plants That Draw Bees 4

Botanical Name: Eupatorium purpureum

USDA Zones: 3 to 9

Joy Pye Weed is actually a wildflower that can grow up to 9 feet tall so be careful when choosing this plant for attracting bees to your garden.

20. Sunflower

Bee-Attractive Species

Botanical Name: Helianthus

USDA Zones: 4-9

Sunflowers are the best. They grow easily, tolerate many different kinds of soil, and can be planted anywhere. Plus, the large flowers act as yellow beacons for bees.

21. Coneflower

Plants That Draw Bees 6

Botanical Name: Echinacea purpurea

USDA Zones: 3-8

Coneflowers tempt bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds with their nectar-rich flowers. The ray florets don’t completely enclose the central cone, allowing bees of different kinds to reach the nectar-producing disc florets at the center easily.

22. Phlox

Plants That Draw Bees

Botanical Name: Paniculata

USDA Zones: 3-9

Phlox has clusters of bright flowers that grow low to the ground. Bees, especially the short-tongued bumblebee can reach the center of these small flowers without hassle.

23. Black Eyed Susan

Plants Bee-Attractive 3

Botanical Name: Rudbeckia

USDA Zones: 3-10

Black-eyed Susans aren’t shy about giving delicious nectar to pollinators. The central “eye” of the flower is actually a cluster of tiny florets, each one packed with it.

24. Rosemary

Plants That Draw Bees

Botanical Name: Salvia rosmarinus

USDA Zones: 7-10

Rosemary is drought tolerant, has a long flowering season, gives pollen and nectar, and has pretty flowers. What more could you want from a plant to attract bees?

25. Sage

Plants Bee-Attractive 2

Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis

USDA Zones: 5-8

Sage is another bee favorite, but sometimes, the bees might choose another plant to get nectar from because the petals of Sage plants form a hood over the stamens and stigmas where it is stored, making it difficult to reach.

26. Lemon Balm

Plants That Draw Bees
shutterstock/Przemyslaw Muszynski

Botanical Name: Melissa officinalis

USDA Zones: 3-7

Lemon Balm leaves give off a lovely scent when you crush them between your fingers. It will also attract plenty of bees with its lemony scent and pollen.

27. Thyme

Plants Bee-Attractive 1

Botanical Name: Thymus vulgaris

USDA Zones: 5-9

You should plant Thyme in paving, near pathways, or grow it in pots. It will fill the air with its fragrance and will bring bumblebees, honeybees, leafcutter bees, and mason bees.

28. Sweet Alyssum

Plants That Draw Bees

Botanical Name: Lobularia maritima

Gardeners love this low-growing annual; the flowers of Sweet Alyssum bloom almost all seasons and bring tons of the bees to your garden.

29. Snapdragon

Plants Bee-Attractive

Botanical Name: Antirrhinum majus

USDA Zones: 7-11

Snapdragons serve as food for bees during the cool months. And their yellow flowers look really pretty in the garden.

30. Cosmos

Best Plants that Attract Bees 30

Botanical Name: Cosmos bipinnatus

USDA Zones: 2-11

Cosmos has open flowers in pretty colors, so bees can get nectar from the central disc easily. These flowers can also tolerate all soil types.

31. Helenium

Bee-Attractive Plants

Botanical Name: Helenium autumnale

USDA Zones: 3-9

Heleniums are just like sunflowers–yellow and bright. They also produce nectar continuously, unlike other flowers, so bees always come where it is planted.

32. Larkspur

Best Plants that Attract Bees 32

Botanical Name: Consolida ajacis

USDA Zones: 3-9

Larkspur plants attract bees with their flowers. They can be blue, purple, and even pink. If you’re planting these, go with the Bee Larkspur–it has trumpet-shaped flowers.

33. Pansy

Bee-Attractive Plants

Botanical Name: Viola tricolor

USDA Zones: 4-8

Pansies have large, velvety petals that serve as a spacious landing platform for bees of all sizes. They also have an extended blooming season, starting in early spring and lasting through fall.

34. Coreopsis

Bee-Attractive Species

Botanical Name: Coreopsis grandiflora

USDA Zones: 3-9

Coreopsis flowers are bright yellow and they attract all kinds of bees to themselves, even humans. They’re gorgeous and provide pollen throughout their growing season. Nectar, too.

35. Globe Thistle

Bee-Attractive Plants

Botanical Name: Echinops ritro

USDA Zones: 3-8

Globe Thistles are a treasure chest of nectar that’s nestled deep within their spiky florets. But bees come looking for it and have a special talent for finding it, too.

36. Zinnia

Bee-Attractive Species

Botanical Name: Zinnia elegans

USDA Zones: 3-10

Zinnias are known for their extended blooming season, typically lasting from mid-summer to frost. These flowers also come in many colors, and bees love them.

37. Snowdrop

Best Plants that Attract Bees 37

Botanical Name: Galanthus nivalis

USDA Zones: 3-7

Snowdrops are also some of the first flowers that emerge when spring comes, so they’re a welcome sight for bees after a long winter.

38. Creeping Thyme

Bee-Attractive Species

Botanical Name: Thymus serpyllum

USDA Zones: 4-8

Creeping Thyme’s fragrant, purple flowers produce nectar and pollen. These flowers provide reliable food to bees which makes them a one-stop shop for bee sustenance!

39. Yarrow

Bee-Attractive Plants

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium

USDA Zones: 3-9

Yarrow is also a wildflower that attracts bees. It might not be the most irresistible bee magnet but it does give nectar and pollen. It’s not great for short-tongued bees because the flat flower heads cover the stamens.

40. California Poppy

Best Plants that Attract Bees 40

Botanical Name: Eschscholzia californica

USDA Zones: 6-10

California Poppies are not a major source of nectar for bees because they don’t produce much of it. But they make up for the loss by producing tons of pollen.

41. Baby Blue Eyes

Bee-Attractive Plants

Botanical Name: Nemophila menziesii

USDA Zones: 3-9

Bees cannot see red, but they are particularly drawn to colors in the blue/violet spectrum, so they adore Baby Blue Eyes flowers.

42. Marigold

Plants That Draw Bees

Botanical Name: Tagetes erecta

USDA Zones: 2-11

Marigolds, particularly single-flowered varieties, produce a decent amount of nectar that’s a valuable source of energy for bees. You can also grow unlimited marigolds from just their petals.

43. Blanket Flower

Plants Bee-Attractive

Botanical Name: Gaillardia pulchella

USDA Zones: 3-10

There are around 25-30 species of Blanket flowers and most of these are great for attracting butterflies and bees. They are also pest and disease resistant.

44. Moringa

Plants That Draw Bees v

Moringa blooms are also the favorite of bees, and they simply love to buzz around its flowers. As long as you have a bright spot, this plant will continue to thrive.

45. Citrus Flowers

Plants Bee-Attractive4

Citrus flowers have a citrusy scent that’s quite strong. It can tempt bees from a distance, and they play an important role in pollinating the flowers and setting the fruits.

46. Wild Rose

Plants That Draw Bees2

Wild Rose flowers are also called Roses of the Woods. These flowers are hardy, resistant, and need little maintenance. Plus, they attract bees with their scent.

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