If you want to attract bees and butterflies to your garden you need to create a water source for them. The second thing is to plant herbs and flowers that they prefer.

bee baths

How To Provide A Water Source:

For a water source, choose a shallow container. A terra-cotta saucer is perfect. I’ve elevated my trio of saucers on various-sized terra cotta pots.

bee baths

Place the water source near their favorite flowers and plants. Provide a flat surface such as a rock in your saucer where they can safely perch and bask in the sun.

Freshen the water each day and avoid using pesticides. Thoroughly wash containers weekly.

bee baths

Colors That Attract Butterflies

Butterflies can see colors and are attracted to bold and warm colors like yellow, pink, red, purple, lavender, bluish, green, and orange.

Hummingbirds are attracted to red tubular flowers, while butterflies like open-faced yellow and purple flowers.

red flower

Provide A Puddling Source

If you see butterflies on moist sand or mud and they appear to be nibbling, this is called “puddling.” They do this to obtain minerals from the soil.

You can provide a puddling spot by placing a saucer or shallow pan in your garden and filling it with coarse moist sand. (Sand keeps water from evaporating).

Plants That Attract Butterflies

  • Alyssum
  • Aster
  • Bee balm
  • Butterfly bush
  • Calendula
  • Cosmos
  • Daylily
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus
  • Fennel
  • Globe thistle
  • Goldenrod
  • Hollyhock
  • Lavender
  • Liatris
  • Marigold
  • Musk mallow
  • Nasturtium
  • Oregano
  • Phlox
  • Purple coneflower
  • Queen Anne’s lace
  • Sage
  • Scabiosa
  • Shasta daisy
  • Stonecrop
  • Verbena
  • Yarrow
  • Zinnia

Plants That Attract Bees

  • Allium
  • Aster
  • Basil
  • Bee balm
  • Bee plant
  • Bergamot
  • Blanket flower
  • Borage
  • Cosmos
  • Flax
  • Four o’clock
  • Gaillardia
  • Geranium
  • Giant hyssop
  • Globe thistle
  • Goldenrod
  • Helianthus
  • Hyssop
  • Joe-pye weed
  • Lavender
  • Lupine
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Mullein
  • Paint brush
  • Poppy
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Skullcap
  • Sunflower
  • Thyme
  • Verbena
  • Wallflower
  • Wild rose
  • Zinnia

Attracting bees and butterflies to your garden has many advantages. First, they are obviously visually appealing.

Second, bees are perfectly adapted to pollinate. This helps plants grow, breed and produce food.

They do so by transferring pollen between flowering plants and therefore keeping the cycle of life turning.

Native plants are especially important to pollinators and other wildlife.

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  1. What a great site! Thank you for the butterfly and bee water source advice; beautiful in two ways – offering a cool helping hand to our pollinators while beautifying our world! I will be back!

    1. I haven’t fertilized them. I rarely do. They seem to do okay without it. But I do have the ingredients to make a homemade fertilizer if I need it.

  2. The part about changing the water daily is important to not breed mosquitoes!
    We have “false acacia” trees which have just come into bloom, and which bees love. Acacia honey is very sought-after. I plan to plant some flowers to attract more butterflies, and I hope to also get hummingbirds, which I haven’t yet seen here. Your list will come in handy. We do have a lot of lavender, and it certainly does please the bees.

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