Herbs That Attract Pollinating Insects

comments (5) January 30th, 2013

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ChrisMcLaughlin Chris McLaughlin, contributor
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Photo by Steve A. Johnson under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
Photo by USFWS Headquarters under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
Photo by Brita Heise under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
Photo by Steve A. Johnson under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.Click To Enlarge

Photo by Steve A. Johnson under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.


When it comes to vegetable and fruit production pollinating insects are the very lifeblood of the garden. For the majority of food plants they're 100% necessary, so it's important to make pollinators at home in the garden and encourage them to stay.

This is yet another reason that my heart belongs to herbs -- they're incredible performers on so many levels. In the kitchen as food, seasonings, and garnishes. They're found in everyday beauty products and their natural health benefits have been proven time and time again.

As if all of those things weren't enough, many herbs produce flowers that are completely irresistible to pollinating insects, as well as an unlimited number of wildlife species including native bee species, honey bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Complement your vegetable garden some polliantor-seducing herbs.

 

Herbs That Attract Butterflies

Butterflies are the happiest in sipping on flowers planted in areas with good sun and little or no wind.

  • Chives
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Catmint
  • Mint
  • Chives
  • Yarrow
  • Parsley

 

Herbs That Attract Bees

Bees prefer single-petaled flowers as they make it easier to get to sweet nectar. Try planting:

  • Basil
  • Lemon balm
  • Lavender
  • Anise hyssop
  • Hyssop
  • Borage
  • Germander
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Chamomile
  • Rosemary
  • Dill
  • Betony
  • Lamb's ears
  • Thyme
  • Dandelion

 

Herbs That Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are pollinators, too! Tubular blossoms are the main course for hummers. Plant herbs such as:

  • Bee balm
  • Lavender
  • Pineapple sage
  • Hyssop
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Catnip
  • Comfrey
  • Mallow
  • Globe Thistle

Don't forget to place a shallow bowl or saucer of water in your garden for hard-working pollinators!

*Quick Note: If you're interested in attracting pollinating insects, you'll have to sacrifice a few leaves (sometimes whole plants) to desirable caterpillars. After all they're juvenile pollinators. So always identify the caterpillars in your garden before you eliminate them.


posted in: pollinating insects, herbs that attract pollinating insects

Comments (5)

smdntv writes: What a wonderful one-page resource! Thank you.
Posted: 1:00 pm on April 16th
AllThings_Gardening writes: This pollinator post is excellent! Thanks so much and I will be including some of these for sure!
Posted: 11:01 am on April 15th
Chefin1950 writes: I have most of those herbs in my garden, but what the bees love most is marjoram! My marjoram plants practically sing with the buzz of bees, and they are so concentrated on the pollen that you can almost pet them!
Posted: 6:40 am on March 13th
Pastoralia writes: Very nice and informative article. I am going to use the list when I design mediterranean gardens. More and more customers are interested in vegetable and herb gardens combined with fruit trees.
Thanks.
Posted: 12:29 am on February 16th
BillyJoesFoodFarm writes: I really, really love your page. Wouldn't it be great if everyone would landscape with pollinators in mind??!! Better yet, landscape with edibles, too. Win-win.

I'm going to cross post this article on my page, it's a great list. Thanks!


Tina Elliott
Billy Joe's Food Farm
Posted: 8:24 am on February 1st
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