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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Bees Are in Jeopardy—but Here Are 5 Pretty Flowers You Can Plant to Keep Them Buzzing All Season

Show the bees some love by turning your garden into a haven for bees.

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Nepeta x faassenii, Zones 3 to 8, full sun.
Don’t let the name dissuade you from planting this bee favorite. Look for well-behaved varieties that don’t reseed and take over the garden. You and the bees will be rewarded with purple flowers that top silvery foliage all season long. Bees are much smarter than you think—these are other animal species that are geniuses.

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 Bee Balm

Monarda spp., Zones 3 to 9, full sun.
The name says it all. This unusual beauty grows up to 4 feet tall and starts flowering in midsummer, inviting bees to your flowerbeds. Plants come in hues of red, white, and purple. Bee balm also attracts helpful insects—the kinds that prey upon harmful ones. Check out this heartwarming story of a couple that’s professional honey makers.

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Flowering Dogwood

Cornus florida, Zones 5 to 8, partial to full sun.
Thanks to pink and white bracts surrounding the flowering dogwood’s small green flowers, bees pay frequent visits in spring. This lovely ornamental reaches 20 to 30 feet tall.

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Sedum spp., Zones 3 to 10, partial to full sun.
A late-season favorite, many cultivars boast bold-colored foliage ranging from red to purple to gold. Other types of this versatile succulent have broccoli-shaped light green flower heads that slowly change to pink and deepen to burgundy. Most sedums are hardy in all but the harshest climates.

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Echinacea spp., Zones 3 to 9, full sun.
Bees truly love this perennial. As a bonus, many songbirds stop to nibble the seeds, and butterflies and hummingbirds hang out and sip the flower’s nectar in fall.
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