Bee Plants for Shade and Sun – How To Create Your Bee Garden

Bee Plants for Shade and Sun

We need bees. That much we know. 

Without them, our whole circle of life is disturbed. 

With more bees disappearing with each day, it’s now more than ever crucial for us to do our part and help the bees

The growing number of bees dying is caused by the harmful pesticides used, change in our climate and natural habitats being constantly destroyed. 

There are thousands of different bee types around the world, with honeybee and bumblebee being the 2 most popular ones. 

By creating a bee garden or planting bee-attracting plants in your garden, you’ll be playing your part in saving our climate and making sure the bees have enough flowers to pollinate. 

Bee Plants for Shade and Sun

So Why Do We Need Bees? 

Bees pollinate the food we eat. From almonds, to coffee, apples to pears, vanilla and even cotton. Cotton comes from flowers and they need to be pollinated by bees to grow. 

Without cotton, we have no fabric and clothes, and imagine a world without coffee?! 

Complete chaos…

Essentially, without bees we could survive, however, our diets would be restricted with no access to certain foods, which in return would lead to vitamin deficiencies and negative effect on our health overall. 

Bees are also food for other animals like birds, so without the bees, birds’ access to food would be limited and could cause them to stave and die in masses, causing a domino effect down the line…

We certainly need bees to keep some of the normality of our world. The recent years have shown us that we must not take anything for granted. We cannot assume that the work that needs to be done to preserve our environment will be done by the government, or organisations – we must play our part too.

Ben and I recently bought a house and we plan on planting lots of bee-attracting flowers to help with the pollinating process that is so crucial to our food supply. 

You can buy some bees and set them up with a beehive and maintain them to ensure they’re happy. 

Bee Plants for Shade and Sun

Or an easier and quicker option, would be to simply plant flowers and plants that attract bees. 

It’s actually a simpler task than it might seem, and you don’t have to be an expert in gardening. 

Most of the flowers that the bees love, are the simple, common flowers rather than the extravagant, big flowers that are difficult to buy, plant or take up lots of room in your garden. 

They’re also mostly self-maintained, which means they don’t need much looking after and most of them come back year after year, saving you the hassle of having to replant them every year. 

Our gardens are all different however, so which plants do you grow if your garden is in the shade or gets a lot of sun? 

Bee Plants for Shade

The best plants for your shady patches in the garden are the following plants and flowers: 

Turkish sage – Phlomis russeliana

Bell Flower – Campanula

English bluebells


Common Foxglove

Fairy bellflower – Campanula persicifolia

Cohosh bugbane / black snakeroot – Actaea racemosa

Wild garlic / ramsons – Allium ursinum

Masterwort – e.g. Astrantia helleborifolia, Astrantia major ‘Claret’

Ivy – hedera helix

Deam’s coneflower – Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii 

Knotted cranesbill – Geranium nodosum

Dusky cranesbill ‘Lily Lovell’ – Geranium phaeum ‘Lily Lovell’

Hardy Geraniums

Lungwort  – Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’

Plantain lily – Hosta

Holly – Ilex

Guelder rose – Viburnum opulus

Oregon grape – Mahonia

Bee Plants for Sun

If your garden is full of sun, your job is a little bit easier! Most plants and flowers love and need the sun, so essentially all you have to do is look out for the butterfly/bee symbol on the packet of flower seeds, as that means that this particular bulb/seed is for a flower that will attract bees and butterflies. 

To get you started, here are some bee plants to plant in your sunny garden:


-Achillea (Yarrow)

-Agastache (Hyssop)



-Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)


-Echinacea (Corn Flower)

-Monarda (Bee Balm)


-Hardy Fuchsia

Bee Plants for Shade and Sun

You can even get wild flowers, easily purchased in a seed pack at any gardening store. Bees LOOOVE wild flowers and they look so pretty that even if you’re not a gardener or a green thumb, you can plant them pretty much anywhere with sun to partial shade, and they’ll attract plenty of bees and butterflies.

When to Plant Bee Flowers

Depending on which flower you’ve chosen and are planning on planting, the time of the year will differ, although most blooms and flowers appear in the spring months from April through to September. 

If you want to catch the first spring blossoms, you’ll want to plant flowers that are resistant to frost – you don’t want to plant a bulb in your ground, and with the first frost, kill the bulb because that will mean no flowers 🙁

Check the packaging of your seed/bulb and see when is the recommended time to plant it.

A Bee Friendly Garden

To create and maintain a bee friendly garden, all you need is to make sure that the plants and flowers that attracts bees, are available for the bees to come as they please and pollinate your flowers. 

You can decorate it with all sorts, rocks, fairy houses, gates, and it can be as big or as small as your garden allows. You don’t need a 10 acre field to plant flowers for the bees to come and visit. 

A small garden, even those in the shade, will attract bees and help you do your bit for the environment. 

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