Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
2 ratings

Sunday - August 12, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Native plants to attract bees for vegetable garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm looking for native plants that can help attract bees around my vegetable garden to help with pollination. What recommendations do you have?

ANSWER:

Bees, honey bees and native solitary bees, are especially attracted to plants in the aster family (Family Asteraceae), buckwheat family (Family Polygonaceae), and mint family (Family Lamiaceae). Here are some suggestions for plants native to Travis County, Texas that are good bee attractors:

Asteraceae

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed)

Helianthus annuus (common sunflower)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Echinacea angustifolia (blacksamson echinacea)

Solidago nemoralis (gray goldenrod)

Polygonaceae

Eriogonum longifolium (longleaf buckwheat)

Eriogonum multiflorum (heartsepal buckwheat)

Lamiaceae

Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has a list of bee attracting plants where you can find more suggestions for plants for your garden. Please realize that all those plants on the list are not native to your area and, indeed, some are not even native to North America. For a list of plants native Travis County, visit the web page of the Austin chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

For a discussion of the mysterious disappearance of honeybees (Apis mellifera), there is an excellent article, Stung, by Elizabeth Kolbert, in the August 6, 2007 issue of the New Yorker.

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Will hybrid Tecoma stans attract hummingbirds from Glendale AZ
July 07, 2012 - We bought a bells of fire plant; would like to know if hummingbirds like them?
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant plants for butterflies and hummingbirds
November 16, 2009 - I have about 150 sq ft of space in our backyard (urban OKC residence) that gets direct sun in the morning but is 100% shaded by 11-Noon from 2 large Sycamore trees. The space is on the west side of t...
view the full question and answer

Post-bloom period care for Pink evening primrose
June 28, 2011 - Hello, I live in Denton, TX. I introduced pink evening primrose as a ground cover to a xeriscaped section of my property a few years ago. I have pretty much left it alone and let it do its thing an...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for East Texas school gardens
May 19, 2008 - I am a teacher in San Augustine, Texas (which is in the Eastern Pineywoods region). I have started an outdoor classroom/schoolyard habitat at our school. We are in the process of planning our plant ...
view the full question and answer

Something eating milkweed leaves in Austin
June 23, 2011 - I have some milk weed plants, and have noticed in the last few weeks that something is eating the leaves on them. The flowers are fine and no other plant appears to be bothered. I thought perhaps it w...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.