Best plants for bees and butterflies?

Alexandra2010(8)May 27, 2014

What are the best plants (that won't die in the Texas summer) that attract honeybees and butterflies?

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nate82(9 houston)

Here are some that thrive for me here in Houston. Purple cone flower, Black-eyed Susan, blanket flower, desert willow bubba tree, tecoma stans, salvias, blue mist flower, and butterfly weed.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 12:21AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Hard to beat a flame acanthus and Turk's cap. They both love the heat and the hummers, butterflies and bees love them.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 7:11AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Gaura (photo) and zexmenia are also great for bees. A few of the others mentioned so far, like flame acanthus and zexmenia, are also butterfly host plants. Butterflyweed/milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a great Monarch host plant and does well in much of the state once established.

Buford holly is actually our most intense bee magnet, but it took many years to flower extensively enough to attract the hoards.

Here is a link that might be useful: Host and nectar plant lists (dallasbutterflies)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 12:23PM
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davessels

My best bee plants last year where in my herb bed. Munstead Lavender, magic carpet thyme, German thyme. This year I put in a new Hummingbird, butterfly, bee garden. I haven't seen any bees yet, as nothing is in bloom. All of the above mentioned are great.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 12:56PM
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tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

Lantanas are also good, as are pentas.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 2:53PM
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dr.liz(7 NJ)

Check out the butterfly forum. You will get lots of help!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 2:56PM
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TexasRanger10(7)

My Russian Sage is always swarming with bees in summer. Its very tough and seems to thrive on drought and heat. I have a friend with a vegetable garden who decided to plant a row to go by his garden to attract them.

Of all the plants for attracting butterflies I have growing, and I have many varieties, nothing I have ever seen attracted them like the row of agastache up the street. It was unbelievable last fall --- a cloud of monarchs & other kinds were on them, the air was literally full of butterflies. I couldn't believe it. Although lantana is good too, they were nothing even close to this. I planted six plants this year.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 3:19PM
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Alexandra2010(8)

Thank you! I'm so excited to plant a bee and butterfly garden along with my veggies!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 10:35PM
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farmboy1(5)

Solidago (Goldenrod), Salvia, and Stonecrop Sedums are really popular with bees and similar insects, especially later in the summer. Coneflowers and Black-eyed Susans, too. Butterfly Bushes were popular with Swallowtails, Monarchs, Red Admirals, Sphinx Moths, and Hummingbirds.

At least in my backyard 60 miles west of Chicago...

Didn't see that many Monarchs, though, and have not seen a caterpillar on field Milkweed in years.

vince

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 11:01PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Eupatorium havenses, lavendar, Salvia chiquita

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 11:48PM
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cynthianovak

Great suggestions but did anyone mention Tithonia or Zinnias? I

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 11:51PM
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aufelipe

I often find 5 or 6 monarchs on my Gregg's Mistflower (which, I think is Conoclinium greggii). It's also tough and drought tolerant. Spreads itself by seed, so you might have to control it some.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gregg's Mistflower

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:09AM
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jolanaweb

All of the above plus all of my sages but when my lamb's ear blooms, it is nonstop covered with honey bees

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:44AM
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Lynn Marie

My wax leaf ligustrums are covered in both when they bloom if you want a shrub. Also, bees love my peach tree and the mint when they are in bloom. I'd love to eat some of the honey they make from the mint flowers. I bet it is good!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:46AM
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adellabedella_usa

All of the above. I've had great luck with several. I use a lot of vinca and zinnias in my garden because they tend to be more drought tolerant and handle the heat well. I also like portacula/moss rose for those areas that are hard to keep watered. This year I am adding several types of herbs specifically for the other ages of butterflies.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 2:21PM
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phoenix7801

Gaillardia, coneflowers, zexmenias, buddleia, salvias, aloysia. Also don't neglect the host plants like pipevine, passiflora, asclepias, fennel etc.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 3:26PM
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zippity1

my best plant for bees and butterflies --by far-- is the sweet almond verbena
it is not a pretty plant but is easily grown and survives droughts or plentiful rainfall
mine is about 10 feet tall and maybe 8-10 feet in diameter and does well in sun and slight shade
smells like root beer has white flowers that look like butterfly bush flowers
bees in particular love this plant....

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 8:35PM
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RyanMcCubbin

Bumblebees love Chaste trees and Wysteria and the butterflies love the butterfly bushes.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 9:56PM
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NachtSprite

My crepe myrtle had a lot of bees last year. Mine is the white Natchez. I've heard that they don't really go for other colors.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 6:52AM
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bman123(7b/8a DFW TX)

Zinnias and Cosmos are good.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 8:34PM
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castro_gardener

Bee balm, of course ! NachtSprite heard that they don't like colored crepe myrtles, but my bees are all over my bubble-gum-pink crepes!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:34PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Butterflies LOVE Verbena bonariensis!

Clearwing hummingbird moth which flies in the daytime because at first glance it looks like a wasp ...

Gulf fritillary

One of the black swallowtails ...

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:51PM
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