Flowers for Bees & Butterflies

Updated July 19, 2017

Bees and butterflies rely on flowers as sources of pollen and nectar. Most of the flowers listed here are easy to grow and many attract both butterflies and bees, as well as hummingbirds.

The best gardens to draw butterflies and bees offer large swathes of flowers and it also helps to provide saucers of water or wet sand, or small puddles. Both bees and butterflies need drinking water.

Benefits of planting flowers for bees & butterlies

Planting flowers that attract bees and butterflies provides you with a lovely mix of colours and flower types, and helps support and feed these pollinators. Bee populations have dropped drastically, partly due to disease and bee mites. Butterfly habitat and the plants they feed on are also less plentiful. Using organic gardening techniques and planting bee- and butterfly-friendly flowers can nurture their return.

Flowers for bees

Bees are attracted to blue flowers such as lavender and ceanothus. Other flowers they like include Mosquito Plant, Red Clover, Purple-Headed Gomphrena, Vitex and Swamp Verbena. Most of these flowers also attract butterflies.

Flowers for butterflies

Consider planting a butterfly/hummingbird mix, which includes numerous kinds of flowers. Other flowers that draw butterflies include Black-eyed Susans, Purple Passion Flower, Butterfly Weed, Birdfoot violet, and New England Aster.

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About the Author

Sherry Crawford has been a writer for more than 30 years. She started freelance writing in 1997, with articles published in alumni magazines for Minnesota State University-Mankato, Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Dubuque. In Iowa, she writes for Kirkwood Foundation, Mercy Medical Center and the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. Crawford holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism/English from the University of Minnesota.