Especially in spring, pollinating insects need a helping hand. If you plant bee-friendly plants in your balcony boxes or flowerbeds, you are doing something good for our environment. We have compiled a list of perennials, flowers and shrubs that provide food for bees and bumblebees.
Table of Contents
- Hardy bee-friendly plants for balcony and garden
Winter hardy bee friendly plants for balcony and garden
Bee-friendly plants are those that meet certain criteria. Their flowers should:
- bear sufficient nectar and have a nectar supply
- give off a sweet scent (so that bees can find their way to the plant)
- be wide open and unfilled (so that pollinating insects can reach the nectar in the flowers).
In order for the garden or balcony to attract bees, there are a few things you should consider when designing it. Bee-friendly outdoor areas are characterized by a rich food supply. Therefore, you should plant the tubs, balcony boxes and flower beds so that there is always something blooming from spring to late autumn. Furthermore, you should never treat the flowers, perennials and shrubs with pesticides.
Bee-friendly plants for the balcony box in the shade
Watering heart: color pink, flowering starts in April and ends May/early June.
White anemone: Color white, flowering starts in April and continues until June. Perennial plant, poisonous to humans and animals.
Common golden nettle: color yellow, flowering period begins in May after the Ice Saints and ends August.
Perennial silverleaf: color white, blooms from May to early August, emits a lilac-like fragrance in the evening.
Wallflower: Color purple, herbaceous plant, long blooming period from May to early October.
Bee-friendly plants for the balcony in partial shade
Lungwort: color purple, flowering from March to May, perennial herb.
Winter-hardy ice flowers: yellow, white and purple, drought-resistant, summer-flowering flowers for sun to partial shade. Flowering May to September
Phlox: colors white, pink, purple, flowering starts in June. With good care, the plants bloom until autumn. Also tolerate morning sun, have low water requirements.
Bee friendly flowers in containers
Peonies, peonies (wild forms with unfilled flowers): colors white, pink, red. Perennials with a strong fragrance and flowering in May and June. Prefer sunny locations.
Garden carnations: Various colors. Flowering starts in May and continues until August. Drought-resistant perennial bee-friendly flowers for sun to partial shade.
Bee friendly plants for the garden
Jacob’s ladder: color white or blue, blooms in June and July. Prefers a location in the shade.
Noble lilac: lilac color. Exudes a characteristic, strong fragrance. Some varieties bloom in spring and then again in fall.
Tuberous bellflower: Purple color. Persistent, herbaceous, native. Flowering time from June to August.
Hardy and bee-friendly perennials.
Perennial Clematis: Purple, violet, blue colors. Slightly toxic semi-shrub with a long flowering period. With proper care, its bell-shaped flowers delight the eye from June through September.
Foxglove: color yellow or white. Long blooming period from June to early September. Prefers sunny locations. Well suited for planting in the flower bed.
Creeping günsel (for long-trunked bees and bumblebees): color blue. Native bee-friendly and hardy plant with flowering time in April, May and June. Thrives best in light shade, but can tolerate morning sun well.
Bee-Friendly Hedge Plants: These bee-nurturing shrubs are worth considering.
A bee-friendly hedge provides consistent and long-lasting nutrients not only for bees, but also for other pollinating insects such as bumblebees and butterflies. Particularly important for beneficial insects are woody plants that produce their flowers as early as spring. Such are, for example, the gray willow or the purple willow. In spring, flowering shrubs such as the weigelie offer nectar. In autumn, when the summer-flowering perennials fade, comes the time for butterfly bushes.
Even when designing bee-friendly hedges, the amateur gardener should make sure that the individual plants bloom at different times of the year. Especially in spring, when the first brood of bees are looking for food, and in autumn, when the weather turns colder, the supply is scarce. Early- and late-blooming shrubs can solve the problem. The following hedge plants provide food for bees:
1. shrubs and perennials that bloom in spring and early spring (March to May).
- Sal willow (early March to late May)
- Winter jasmine (December to April)
- Wood anemone (March to May)
2. shrubs and perennials that bloom in spring and early summer
- White deutzia (May to June)
- Barberry (May to June)
- Weigelie (late April to mid-June)
- Japanese shrubbery (early flowering varieties)
- Firethorn (May to June)
- privet (June to July)
3. shrubs and perennials that bloom in summer and fall
- Foxglove (June to October)
- Jasmine (May to August)
- Summer lilac (July to October)
The right time to plant a flowering hedge is in autumn and spring. This should be planned really well, because such a hedge can grow up to 2 meters wide. Unlike evergreen hedge plants, most bee-friendly shrubs do not tolerate topiary.