We’ve talked about how you can grow certain flowers to help attract butterflies and bees to your garden. Did you know there are also herbs which will achieve this?
Growing your own herbs is a fantastic idea, and not only will you captivate the attention of little pollinators with them, but you too can personally reap the benefits of some of them – having garden-fresh, organic herbs at your fingertips for cooking and adding to salads and teas.
You can also opt to grow ornamental herbs for maximum nectar for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. They look beautiful, smell great, and add a great touch to your garden.
6 Great Pollinator-Friendly Herbs
- Wild Marjoram – adored by pollinators, this is a great herb for cooking and produces pinkish flowers.
- Chives – great for your kitchen, chives need to be allowed to flower for them to be beneficial for bees. The flowers resemble purple pom-poms atop the stems. They are easy to grow from seed but do take time to fill out. The non-flowering stems can be used for cooking.
- Borage – this is a medicinal herb also known as bee bush or starflower. The leaves and blue flowers are both edible and great in salads. The flowers refill with nectar every two minutes and it is a favorite of bees.
- Lavender – comes in an array of varieties and bees love it! The leaves and flowers provide a beautiful look and aroma in your garden.
- Parsley – flat-leaf parsley is ideal and it is easy to grow.
- Dill – great for cooking! When you allow dill to flower, bees and butterflies enjoy it immensely. Added to a border, it creates an appealing softness.
Other Herbs to Attract Butterflies
Herbs that are rich in nectar will attract butterflies, as well as flowers in the red/pink/purple/white spectrum. Bright blooms provide a place to drink nectar and safely rest.
- Creeping thyme
Other Herbs to Attract Bees
Bees are most attracted to highly scented plants, especially those with yellow or blue blooms. The flowers must be present to attract and feed your bees – so don’t remove the flowers if you wish to feed pollinators!
To attract bees, grow:
- Lemon Balm
- Wild Bergamot
- Summer Savory
Tips for Growing Herbs
Herbs are generally very easy to grow, and they make a fantastic feeding ground for butterflies and bees.
Lots of herb varieties are easy to grow from seed, while others are widely available as seedlings. Some can also be grown from cuttings.
Grow your herbs in the garden, as a border, or in pots or tubs on your patio or deck. Most like plenty of sun and need to be watered regularly. Some will burn in extreme heat so be aware of summer placement on very hot days – keep them watered.
Let Nature take over – don’t over groom your plants! The wilder you can let your herbs and flowers grow, the more bees and butterflies will enjoy them. After all, this is how Nature intended it to be! Rather than a clipped hedge, grow a herb border or more natural hedge of an array of plants, and allow it to soften and bloom to best attract bees and butterflies.