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  • Writer's pictureBecca

Create a Bee Friendly Garden

While the best plants for bees in your area are the plants native to your area, I've gathered a list of some that you can add to your garden or lawn as a little stop for the helpful critters.

What makes a garden bee friendly?

Any plant that produces colorful flowers really, though bees do have preferences. Be sure to also use alternative methods of pest control rather than chemicals.


two bees visiting lavender flowers
Lavender makes excellent food for bees

This one pulls double duty. It's great for bees and other pollinators while also being useful for us. There are many ways to use lavender in the home.


This is NOT catnip. Though catnip is fine unless you want cats showing up.

Old-fashioned roses

yellow rose
Old fashioned rose, picture taken and owned by author

These are not the ones you find at the store. These babies have an open center and only one row of petals.


bee on top of purple echinacea flower
Echinacea or purple coneflower

A very useful herb for both bee and human. Echinacea has many uses in the home and is native to much of the US.


You're gonna see a lot of generic herbs on this list. Turns out, an herb garden is great for bees and your kitchen!

Bee balm

It's in the name really. This one may be in the Plant shoppe inventory come spring.... so keep your eyes peeled.

Joe-pye weed

the purplish flowers of a joe pye weed
Joe-Pye Weed, a native flower in North America

A lovely, tall, native wildflower that has it's own repertoire of uses for humans!


Save two insects with one bush! This is a favorite plant of bees and monarch butterflies alike. And it is perfect for every garden.

butterfly bush

This one provides bees with an excellent source of pollen and nectar!

button bush

This shrub loves to be near water sources, let's give the bees dinner and a drink.


They grow literally everywhere. Just be sure to avoid using pesticides on them.

lemon balm

Perfect for a calming tea and a lovely snack for the pollinators.


This is more of a group of plants. They include garlic, onions and ones with prettier flowers as well.


the poisonous foxglove flower
The Foxglove flower

Be careful of this one. Not only is it not native to the US, it also contains toxins that can be dangerous in certain doses. Do not leave pets, livestock or children unattended near it.

black eyed susan

yellow black eyed susan flowers
The Black Eyed Susan is a very easy to find option for your garden.

This one is a lovely native flower. Some varieties are annuals while others are perennials.


This herb doesn't seem to be as well used as others on this list but it's a lovely edition to any bee garden.


Yarrow is a common wildflower. You may have even seen it. It has a cluster of small white flowers that look like the plant is holding a little white dish.

Red maple tree

On to the trees now. One of the most abundant trees in North America, you may already have this in your yard. If not, why not add it?

redbud tree

This tree produces lovely light purple blooms (I know, doesn't fit the name).

yellow poplar

Also called the Tulip Tree, You've probably seen one of these as well. It's perfect for our little friends.

linden trees

There are a number of Linden, or basswood, trees available to add to your garden.

southern magnolia

whitish flower of the southern magnolia tree
The beautiful Southern Magnolia Tree

One of my favorite trees (I love the leaves, they're so pretty), unfortunately it is more of a southern growing tree.

Hopefully, more and more people will begin to create bee friendly gardens so we can save our dying pollinators!

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