Best Flowers to Attract Birds, Butterflies, and Bee Lovers
Attracting birds, butterflies and bees is one of the all-time best ways to have a vibrant, beautiful garden, and also supports a healthier environment.
The secret to attracting birds, butterflies and bees is to fill your garden with diverse plants and colorful, nectar-rich flowers that encourage a variety of visitors.
Here are a few sure-fire winners for Canadian gardens.
Bee balm (Monarda)
Also known as bee balm, Monarda is a native plant that produces daisy-like blooms of violet, pink, red, blue or white. Bee balm attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds and the dry seed heads provide nourishment for songbirds during fall and winter.
Phlox is a hardy perennial that blooms for six weeks or more in summer. This plant produces daisy-like blooms of various colors, including pink, rose, red, lavender, purple and white. Phlox prefers full sun, but a little afternoon shade is appreciated in warmer climates.
Bees make a beeline for the big, bold blooms of peonies. This easy-to-grow, long-lived perennial produces single or double blooms in various shades of rose, pink, purple, red, white, and even yellow. Although peonies flower best in full sun, they tolerate a bit of light shade.
With its big, nectar-rich blooms, sunflower is a real bee magnet, and birds love the oil-rich seeds. Plant sunflower seeds in a sunny corner of your garden.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Black-eyed Susan, formally known as rudbeckia, is a drought-tolerant North American wildflower that produces an abundance of golden yellow blooms with prominent brown centers. Black-eyed Susans need full sunlight, but they grow in nearly any soil and require very little attention.
Commonly known as coneflower, echinacea is a perennial that produces big, daisy-like blooms of pink, orange or yellow in late summer. Be sure to leave the dried flower heads in fall.
Hyssop is great for bees, and the spiky purple, pink, white or blue flowers also attract butterflies and hummingbirds. This hardy member of the mint family likes dry, well-drained soil and tolerates either full sunlight or partial shade.
Sweet alyssum is a lovely, fragrant annual that provides a generous serving of nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Sprinkle the seeds in your garden in spring. Be sure to keep the soil moderately moist when summer rolls around.
Cosmos are one of the best annuals for bees and other beneficial insects. Plant seeds directly in the garden after all danger of frost has passed. Be sure to deadhead wilted flowers to keep the plants blooming continuously for several weeks.