Bees and butterflies ? You must be thinking that this is a pretty intriguing title for a blog post focusing on interior design and plants..:) Actually I want to write about the few plants you can grow in containers to attract bees and butterflies. Basically container gardening which can be placed anywhere from a balcony to a terrace or a patio with plants that will attract butterflies and bees. Here are my top picks.
Lavender not only smells divine but also attracts bees and butterflies. It’s not just the lovely purple flowers that are fragrant, the silvery leaves are also fragrant and add to the overall appeal of these lovely plants. Lavender needs the sun for most of the day so a sunny balcony/terrace or even a window sill which receives ample sunlight throughout the day is most suitable for best results. It needs neutral or alkaline free draining soil.
It is probably one of the most recognized herbs in a chef’s garden. Oregano is very easy to grow and look after. The leaves of the oregano plant are very small and dark green in colour. It produces tiny white, pink or purple flowers which are very attractive to bees. Oregano will grow very well in partial sun and give good results if it is not wet for long lengths of time. It is an ideal plant for a windowsill garden.
Verbena is the ideal plant to cascade over retaining walls, hanging baskets, windowsill planters and also trellis plants for terrace gardens. These plants are extremely attractive to bees and butterflies. There are a lot of varieties and hybrids of many different species are what we see as the common verbenas today. It is a heat tolerant plant and is great as border plants for pathways and as fillers for container gardens.
Pentas are perennials and growing these plants in your garden is an economical way to introduce colour and texture all year round. The five-pointed petals on the flowers give these resilient plants their name. These are low maintenance plants and will reward you with blooms all year round as long as they get plenty of water, heat and sunshine. Pentas not only attract butterflies, they are very attractive to humming birds as well.
A truly beautiful low growing type of ground cover plant is Portulaca sometimes also known as the sun rose or the moss rose. These plants require sunlight and well-drained soil although it does thrive in most kinds of soil. They are best used as fillers in borders along pathways in the garden with their burst of different colored flowers which include pink, red,yellow, white, cream, orange and deep lavender. They can successfully used in small container gardens. They attract butterflies.
6. Passiflora Incarnata
This plant is a fast growing perennial vine. It has got complex but beautiful purple flowers. These are bee attracting flowers and they also attract hummingbirds. They can be grown in a sunny balcony or a window sill but will require a trellis for efficient fast growth. They grow well in full sun to partial shade and should not be kept wet for too long but they are happy in moist conditions. They prefer well-drained soil.
These pretty flowers comes in hues of blues, purples and pinks and a yellow center. They are very attractive to both bees and butterflies. Aster grows well in average soil which should be moist but not wet for best results. It needs a sunny place for best results. They are perennials so if looked after well will award you with pretty flowers throughout the year.
These low maintenance South African annuals will make butterflies flock to your garden. Gazania flowers thrive in full sun and grows well in soil of low fertility hence it is easy to grow them without too much fuss. These plants prefer sharply drained soil hence is perfect for rock gardens and also have great tolerance for soil so perfect for seaside gardens too. They can be planted on the outer edges of a container garden.
9. Hydrangea macrophylla
These pretty flowers are native to Japan. They do not flower during the cold season. They are extremely attractive to bees and butterflies. It requires moist, organic and fertile soil. They grow well in full to partial shade and do not do well in hot and dry conditions. These plants are salt tolerant so really good for sea-side gardens. The flower colour depends upon the soil pH. Acidic soil produces blue flowers whereas alkaline soil produces pink flowers.
10. Clitoria ternatea
This is a short-lived perennial herbaceous vine which does really well in moist neutral soil. The most striking part of this plant are its blue flowers. Some varieties yield white flowers. The flower has medicinal properties and is used as a natural food dye. The flower is attractive to both bees and butterflies. It is popularly known as Butterfly Pea and is usually grown in full sunlight but is mildly shade tolerant.