En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Native plants to attract bees for vegetable garden

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
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.


Coreopsis tinctoria

Helianthus annuus

Rudbeckia hirta

Echinacea angustifolia

Solidago nemoralis

Eriogonum multiflorum

Monarda citriodora

Salvia coccinea

Salvia farinacea

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

wildflowers for bees and hummers in central Texas
June 16, 2011 - I'm building a native habitat for different hummingbirds and bees at the Inks Lake Fish Hatchery, and I was wondering what kind of native plants in Texas attract these creatures but are also low main...
view the full question and answer

Host plant for butterflies in North Carolina
March 27, 2008 - What is the best host plant for butterflies in North Carolina?
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

Chemical composition of native plants for birds
September 06, 2009 - I am looking for specific information on the biochemistry/nutrition of native plants as they relate to bird nutrition. ie. protein,fat,carbohydrate,vitamin etc found in northeast woody natives for a ...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping from Wilmington NC
December 22, 2012 - I plan on moving to Belmont NC in the next couple of years and settling down with my future wife in her home town. I am a huge do it yourself person. I love to make things from scratch, including buil...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center