Attract Bees and Other Pollinators with these Perennials 17


Perennial flowers are an asset to every garden. They’re pretty, yes. But planting flowers serves another purpose: They attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. Planting perennial flowers means that they’ll be a food source for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators for years.

Do it for the bees. And the butterflies.

With plentiful flowers that are particularly enticing to bees, these perennials are great for tucking into edges near your vegetable garden. They’ll attract bees and other pollinators to the area, boosting the pollination process in your garden, too. And at a time when our honeybee population is struggling, offering them a little bit of a buffet in your backyard seems like a good thing to do!

Plant echinacea to attract bees.


Also known as coneflower, you might be more familiar with echinacea as a health supplement. Turns out, that supplement is made from this plant that sports gorgeous pink blossoms. More on how to grow echinacea here.

Plant cranesbill geraniums to attract pollinators.

Cranesbill Geranium

This is not the neon-bright geranium your grandma used to grow. Cranesbill geraniums are a delicate looking, low-growing perennial that flower in the pink and purple range.

Grow mint to attract honey bees.


While humans are generally more interested in the leaves of mint, the flowers are desirable to bees. Mint can be invasive, though — be sure to plant it in an area where it can run rampant or in a pot where it will remain contained.

Plant scabiosa to attract bees.


This low growing perennial attracts pollinators with purple or pink flowers that seem to float above the leaves on long stems. They’re a great cut flower, too — just be sure to leave some for the bees and butterflies.

Plant salvia to attract pollinators.


There are both annual and perennial varieties of salvia. They’re all great for attracting bees, but if you choose a perennial variety you’ll enjoy the benefits for many seasons.

Plant bee balm to attract pollinators.


Commonly known as Bee Balm, Monarda is a member of the mint family. In addition to attracting pollinators to your garden, Monarda can be used to flavor drinks and is used medicinally. There are both annual and perennial varieties of bee balm and many different types of flowers.

Plant thyme to attract bees.


You know this as a go-to herb in your spice cupboard, but the small flowers on thyme are very attractive to bees. Thyme grows low; try the variety “Mother of Thyme” for a great ground cover that will make the bees happy and be useful to you as well. Basil is another herb that really attracts bees. 

Plant lavender to attract bees.


You know it for its fragrance; bees love it for the flowers. The flowers differ in shape from variety to variety, but all are attractive to honey bees. Lavender is also considered a culinary herb and can be used to flavor some of your kitchen creations.

Plant aster to attract bees.


There are many, many varieties of aster to choose from. The star-shaped flowers come in purples, pinks, and whites and often bloom in the fall, making it a great nectar source when many springtime flowers have stopped blooming.

Plant yarrow to attract pollinators.


Grown for its many medicinal benefits, the flat flower clusters of yarrow are a favorite landing spot for butterflies as well as bees. It’s a low maintenance perennial that tolerates heat and drought well, too.


Buckwheat is not a perennial; in fact, it’s a very fast to bloom annual that’s kaput in just a couple of months. But if you want to attract bees to your yard in a hurry, I highly recommend that you add it to your repertoire. Read about my success with buckwheat here.

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17 thoughts on “Attract Bees and Other Pollinators with these Perennials

  • Gwen

    Great idea. We gotta do all we can for those hard working bees:) I have enjoyed following your blog over the years and watching it bloom with success. Congrats, you are doing an excellent job.

  • Tara

    My biggest bee attractor this year BY FAR was my raspberry bushes. Covered in bees! A glorious thing.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Oh, yes! Blackberries, too.

  • Carra

    We have a Rosemary bush that grows like a weed that I have never seen fewer than three bees at! They are constantly at it filling up on pollen.

  • Becka Cook

    Mint is very much an “invasive” species!! I made the mistake of planting one tiny clump of it in a flower bed, and within a few years, it was everywhere, and it took me forever to get rid of it all! My suggestion is to plant herbs in pots, because (1) it makes them easily accessible and transportable, and (2) the invasive plants, such as mint, can’t get too unruly 🙂 Thank you for the list. I will most definitely be incorporating a good number of these into my next garden!

  • Toni

    Bottle Brush. We have a HUGE bottle brush that is covered with bees and hummingbirds right now. You can hear the bush buzzing!

  • Kolleen Dohermann

    I recently planted yarrow for the first time. I am in love. I read and saw first hand that it attracts lady bugs and their larvae. I planted it in an amended bed and that was a mistake. It’s huge and flopping over. Apparently I need to grow it in poorer soil. No worries still have plenty of virgin soil around. 😉

  • Marion

    Wonderful PINTEREST….We are in the process of preparing resources for the honey bees we plan to obtain next spring (all bees for fall delivery have been sold). Love this pin for the flowers that attract the bees…… Thank you…… GO BEES!!!!!

  • Jennifer

    What a great list! White clover is good too. In spring our backyard is covered in it and the bees love the white poofy flowers! I sometimes just sit outside on the ground and watch ’em go from one bloom to the next. Makes me sad when I have to mow, but I make sure to leave a few patches growing for them.

  • A Green Hand

    OMG these photos look so so amazing! They are my favorite flowers, especially lavender! So into its color and it gives me good sleep!

  • Sue Carson

    Really enjoyed your site and found it very informative. Basically answered exactly what I wanted to know about crabapples. Thanks