Grow a bee-friendly garden: a guide to attracting these nectar-nuzzling friends

Our ecosystems are kept diverse by bees. However, bee populations are in decline, we all know that – and natural bee habitats are becoming less plentiful. Adding bee-friendly garden plants and other creature-friendly elements to your garden cultivates a biodiverse environment. And as very important pollinators, bees increase our blooms and crops through pollination.

Create a bee-friendly garden worth buzzing about

There’s no better sound than a garden alive with the dynamic buzz of bees. As gardeners, we owe a lot to these hard-working pollinators, so it’s worth planting a few simple but highly effective features in your garden to attract these essential insects.

Bee friendly garden

Why Bees Need Our Help

In many parts of the world bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, are in decline. There are many reasons for this, including modern agricultural techniques, the spreading of towns and urban areas, and the loss of natural habitats.

Bees provide an important service for us and our surroundings by pollinating the plants that produce much of the food we eat. They also pollinate the wild flowers that feed the insects that fuel the food chain. By helping bees we’re helping wildlife – and ourselves.

How to attract more bees to your garden

Bees are the gardener’s hard-working allies, and without them we’d face very disappointing looking flora, fauna and harvests. We’ve put together some easy ways to create a more bee-friendly garden.

1. Choose bee-friendly garden flowers

Planting bee-friendly flowers will put your garden firmly on the map for these pollinators. You’ll keep bees around your garden year-round by providing a constant supply of pollen and nectar for bees to feed on. Do this by planning for a sequence of flowers, so as one finishes another starts off.

There are no hard and fast rules about what to plant but opt for flowers rich in pollen and nectar. This usually means selecting single flowers over double flowers.

Create bee destinations around our homes with plenty of flowering plants and healthy nectar for them to eat. Bees are particularly attracted to bee balm, echinacea, snapdragon, and hostas, as well as a number of other wildflowers like California poppies and evening primrose.


This family sticks together. Sunflowers are easy to grow with big results that will attract not only bees but birds and butterflies as well.


Cosmos is a bright, showy annual that is easy to grow and attracts bees, birds and butterflies.


Bees love strawberries just as much as your family does.


Flamboyant, glamorous, and alluring, dahlias are the divas of the horticultural world. Their head-turning blooms draw the crowds from mid-to late summer until the first frost in fall.


The playful snapdragon adds bright pops of colour to a border. These sturdy blooms are fun for children to pinch to make the “mouth” open and close.


Agapanthus is the true treasure chest of all. An exceptional medium size, fast growing Agapanthus with prolific dark blue, complemented with a purplish vein. Fantastic rebloomer. Flowers from early summer to late summer, with a very long flowering period.


Plant a natural mix of wildflowers if a backyard space is big enough. A colourful mix of red poppies and other nectar-rich flowers will attract pollinating insects.


English lavender has flowers that appear in terminal spikes in late spring to early summer. Both foliage and flowers are highly aromatic. Leaves are evergreen in warm winter climates.

Bee friendly garden

2. Invite bees into your garden with colourful blooms

Did you know that bees have excellent colour vision? For this reason, they flock to yellow, purple, blue, and white flowers. It’s best to avoid eucalyptus, ferns, and lemongrass.

3. Don’t forget about bushes, fruits, herbs and veggies

Blue flowers definitely attract bees, but flowering shrubs, fruit trees, herbs and vegetables are also good to have in your bee-friendly garden. Include the following plants to see more buzz around the garden:

● Basil
● Sage
● Lavender
● Thyme
● Watermelons
● Cucumbers
● Pumpkins
● Blueberries

Bees can help pollinate these juicy summer fruits, but watch out: birds also enjoy blueberries. To prevent your crop from disappearing, cover plants with anti-bird netting.

4. Provide shelter

Sheltered shady corners make ideal homes for bumblebees. Add a few broken plant pots to out-of-the-way areas of your garden. You could also encourage bee diversity by making or buying a bee hotel to accommodate Mason bees, Leafcutter bees and Yellow-faced bees. These bees are non-aggressive and safe for your garden.

5. Water, water

Bees don’t store water in the hive. They leave the hive to collect water, which they often choose from surprising sources (they’re rather fond of dirty water).

If you don’t have a pond, a bowl of pebbles full of rainwater provides a good stop-off.

Bee friendly garden

Plantland has a full range of products to create a bee-friendly garden. Browse our pruning sets, spades and tools or shop for pot plants, seeds and more online.