Wildlife friendly plants for Bees and Butterflies

Gardens can be a haven for bees and butterflies by planting shrubs and flowers known to be attractive to bees, butterflies and pollinators. Maintaining a natural area with nettles, grasses and wildflowers is good, but not always practical. There are many plants which look good and are attractive to bees and butterflies. If you can, plant to provide flowers from very early spring when the first solitary bees emerge to late autumn. 

Check out ideas on Spring flowering plants attractive to bees which provide early nectar. There are a wide range of plants, shrubs and herbs listed below on this page and on Plants for bees which are attractive to bees, butterflies, and pollinators which are also easy to grow and provide great colour in the garden.

Birds look for berries for autumn and winter feeding, in the spring and summer shrubs and trees for nesting and to protective cover.

Bees and butterflies seek out nectar, it's all about food.

Providing water is also a bonus, small pond or bird bath well filled up will help attract birds.

Butterflies often prefer a large flower head to land on, bees can climb into foxgloves but like open flowers as well. Bees see colour differently, and Bees love and are attracted to blues (and yellow which they see as blue) Most herbs are bee magnets, oregano and chives are often covered with masses of bees and insects. 

There are some plants which strongly recommended: the common Buddleja which is known as the butterfly bush but really does get covered in butterflies. Equally attractive is the late summer flowering Sedum which can be planted around the base of the Buddleja to provide a butterfly feast.

Bees cannot get enough of Oregano, Alliums , Foxgloves and Veronicastrum, see the image at the foot of this page and if you look closely you will see the bees dotted on the plant. There are more ideas on plants for bees.

Bees love blue! relax with a short video of bees in blue

Bee friendly lavender

Bee friendly Lavender

digitalis the common foxglove

Digitalis the common foxglove easy and shade tolerant 

Bee on Geranium

Bees like Geraniums easy to grow long flowering


Oregano like all herbs are magnets for butterflies and bees


Sedum are irresistible to butterflies, bees, honeybees, hoverflies the flowers just hum.


Achillea bees like  flat headed flowers

Monarda is know as Bee Balm

Monarda is know as Bee Balm

rhododendran with bee

Rhododendron much liked by bees


Butterflies really do go mad for Buddleja which is an easy to grow shrub

Bees and Butterflies are often attracted to quite simple flowers which include wildflowers which will attract all sorts of pollinators. you can create a small patch of wildflowers easily by using a seed mix or a pre sown impregnated mat and they  make a nice wildlife friendly alternative to the traditional bedding plants.

More ideas for wildlife friendly plants

Plants for Butterflies

Plants for Bees

Spring flowering plants attractive to Bees