If you like to grow your own vegetables it is a given that you will want to attract bees! Yes, there are some food crops that don’t need bees, such as carrots, beetroot, and leafy greens like chard. But with most crops you need the help of bees to pollinate the flowers. In our garden the bees do the majority of the work pollinating our peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, watermelons, strawberries, and capsicums.
Sometimes we hand pollinate some of the pumpkins and watermelons just to make sure that the bees haven’t missed them. But we let the bees do the work with all our other vegetables.
We have a few flowering plants in our garden to help attract the bees. Some of them are purely ornamental while others are themselves edible. The one thing that these plants all have in common is that they are low care. If you give them some fertilizer in spring and keep them watered over summer they will reward you with their wonderful flowers!
So I thought that I would share which plants that we have in our garden to attract bees.
Low Care Plants in our Garden that Attract Bees
Happy Wanderer (Hardenbergia violacea)
We have had this pretty creeper growing over a trellis in our vegetable garden for a few years now. It flowers in late winter to early spring and the bees love it!
We just love having Alstroemeria growing in the garden; they flower all through the spring and summer. Not only do they attract bees, they are also great as a cut flower!
I have talked about salvia before; they are very hardy and also flower for a long time. We have one in a pot in the vegetable garden and I hope to get a couple more for this summer.
A couple of years ago we planted out some gladioli bulbs in the garden and they haven’t disappointed us. They are multiplying where they are so we might be able to divide them soon and get another patch!
I remember growing nasturtiums when I was a kid so I had to get some for the veggie patch. The nasturtium flowers not only attract the bees they are also edible!
Chives are great to eat and to use in recipes plus their flowers attract bees. Chives are so good at attracting bees I think we would grow them even if we couldn’t eat them!
Garlic chives are similar to regular chives, they are wonderful to eat and have a garlic taste. They flower towards the end of summer and they are always covered in bees!
Buy yourself a packet of sunflower seeds and you will be rewarded with some big beautiful bee attracting flowers. They come in different heights and colours these days and you can save some seeds to plant next year!
With the exception of the sunflowers all our bee attracting plants stay in place over winter. We live in a temperate climate with hot dry summers and regular frosts during winter (down to -5 °C but no snow). If your climate is colder or more tropical you might need to look into whether these plants are suitable for your garden.
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