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The death of bees has been on everyone's lips for several years. With the right choice of balcony plants that are bee-friendly, a small paradise for bees can be created.

In a nutshell

  • Bees are important to the ecosystem
  • bee-friendly balcony planting provides food for various insects
  • not all balcony plants are bee friendly

Overview of balcony plants

Not only summer flowers, which only survive one growing season, also non-hardy tub plants that overwinter in the house and perennial shrubs, as well as various small trees can be used to design the balcony. Among them there are types that are more or less bee-friendly. As a rule, only flowers with a single flower should be used. These have sufficient nectar and pollen. Blossoms that are too densely filled are nice to look at, but the bees have very little, if any, access to their food source.

Tip: In early spring, crocuses, tulips and hyacinths are the first flowers to attract bees. They can be planted in pots and tubs in autumn.

Plants from A - F

Serviceberry (Amelanchier ovalis)

The native wood grows loosely upright and plump. It is a blossom, fruit and autumn ornamental tree all in one. In spring, white flowers cover the shoots and attract bees and other insects. From August the fruits form. At first they are white, later crimson and finally blue-black, then they are ripe. In the fall, the foliage turns orange to scarlet.

  • Height 200 to 300 cm
  • Flowering April to May
  • sunny to partially shaded location
  • "Helvetica" variety particularly suitable for tub planting (height 150 cm)

Tip: Columnar and dwarf forms of apple, pear, plum and cherry are also very popular with bees. They are ideal for pot planting.

Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia)

The angel's trumpet or Datura is deciduous and grows upright as a bush. It has oblong, oval, dark green leaves. Large, funnel-shaped flowers are drooping. They exude an intoxicating scent in the evening. There are the colors white, pink, yellow, orange, red.

  • Height 100 to 300 cm
  • Flowering from July to September
  • sunny, warm to semi-shady location
  • protected from the wind as much as possible

flame flower (phlox)

The phlox is an old well-known perennial in the cottage garden. Depending on the species, it can grow small or tall, like a cushion. The tall perennial phlox develops quite a showy bloom. The colors range from white to pink, red to violet, multicolored is also possible. They do well in large pots with neighbors such as the bee-friendly magnificent candle (Gaura lindheimeri) or ornamental grasses on the balcony.

  • Height 5 to 120 cm
  • Flowering from May to October
  • sunny to partially shaded location

Fat hen (Sedum)

There are different types and varieties. Some plants grow mat-like and small, others clump-like, compact and larger. The sedum plants can store water in the succulent leaves. Planting in tubs together with cranesbill, which is also popular with bees, looks particularly attractive.

  • Height 5 to 60 cm
  • Flower color: white, yellow, orange, red, purple
  • Flowering period August to September
  • sunny location

Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla)

The perennial plant has round, pale green and slightly hairy leaves. The yellow-green flowers are in umbels. Lady's mantle is a popular bee plant.

  • Height 40 to 50 cm
  • Flowering from June to July
  • sunny to slightly shady location

Plants from G - K

Yellow daisy (Euryops chrysanthemoides)

The evergreen shrub has a bushy, branched habit. The dark green leaves are heavily pinnate. Yellow long-stalked daisy flowers with an orange-yellow center appear. He is an absolute star in the bucket.

  • Height 30 to 100 cm
  • Flowering from May to October
  • full sun location
Source: Alejandro Bayer Tamayo from Armenia, Colombia, Margaritón - Margarita amarilla (Euryops chrysanthemoides) - Flickr - Alejandro Bayer (9), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 2.0

Broom (Cytisus)

The deciduous small shrub has a bushy or creeping habit. It is well suited for buckets. Depending on the variety, yellow, pink or purple flowers appear.

  • Height 30 to 60 cm
  • Flowering from April to July
  • sunny location

Smooth-leaf aster (Aster novi-belgii)

This old cottage garden plant is very popular with bees and other insects. It forms clumps and grows upright, taut and bushy. On the balcony they need a large pot or tub. It has pink, red, violet and white flowers.

  • Height 80 to 150 cm
  • Flowering from September to October
  • sunny location

Tip: Cut back shoots in autumn or spring.

Source: Rob Young from United Kingdom, Sapphire (Aster Novi-Belgii) (2873028696), Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0

Goldmarie (Bidens ferulifolia)

The annual plant is particularly suitable for hanging baskets, pots and boxes. She is very bee friendly, a real favorite of bees. The Goldmarie is very floriferous with upright to slightly overhanging growth.

  • Height 30 to 45 cm
  • yellow flowers
  • Flowering period: May to October
  • sunny to partially shaded location
Bidens, Goldmarie, Bidens ferulifolia

Catnip (Nepeta racemosa)

This plant is loved by cats and bees. It has a bushy growth and forms clumps with many shoots. The grey-green leaves give off an aromatic scent. Lavender-blue flowers are loosely clustered together.

  • Height 30 to 60 cm
  • Flowering from May to September
  • sunny location
Catnip, cat balm, Nepeta faassenii

Planting from L - R

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

The popular perennial herb grows upright and bushy. The white to blue-violet flowers exude an intoxicating scent. They are often visited by bees and other insects. The herb is quite easy to care for and is considered hardy. A good combination of plants in a terracotta pot is lavender, rosemary and dog rose. All plants are bee friendly.

  • Height 40 to 60 cm
  • Flowering July to August
  • sunny to partially shaded location
  • also hibernation cool and bright in the house

Tip: In addition to lavender, thyme, oregano, marjoram, mint, dill and rosemary are also very popular with bees. The herbs are easy to cultivate in pots on the balcony. A combination and also extremely bee-friendly are strawberries planted with mint in the balcony boxes.

Liver Balm (Ageratum houstonianum)

This annual plant has a bushy habit. The green leaves are round and up to 2.5 cm in size. The rounded flower heads stand together in umbels. There are the colors blue, violet, pink, pink and white.

  • Height 15 to 25 cm
  • Flowering from May to October
  • prefers a sunny location
  • does not tolerate rain

Almond tree (Prunus triloba)

The small shrub is a beautiful spring bloomer. They are often grown as small trees for the balcony. As a rule, they grow very slowly. Planted in tubs, hanging plants or bee-friendly ivy can be used as underplanting.

  • Height 150 to 200 cm
  • Flower color pink and red
  • Flowering from April to May
  • sunny location

Planting from S - Z

sack flower (Ceanothus)

The small shrub has evergreen, ovate to elliptical leaves and an upright, slightly overhanging habit. The small, blue, single flowers are in panicles.

  • Height 100 to 150 cm and just as wide
  • Flowering from July to November
  • sunny location

Snow Heather (Erica carnea)

The elegant ornamental tree has a rather dense, carpet-like habit with creeping, ascending shoots. Due to its late flowering period, the winter bloomer offers insects a source of food for a long time throughout the year. The flower color varies from white to red to violet. The heather is often used for winter planting on the balcony.

  • Height 15 to 35 cm
  • sunny to partially shaded location
  • Flowering from November to March

shrub veronica (Hebe)

The evergreen shrub has a bushy habit with narrow, ovate, glossy dark green, leathery leaves. The blue-purple, red or white, small, tubular flowers appear in spikes or racemes.

  • Height 30 to 60 cm
  • Flowering from August to September
  • bright location sheltered from wind and rain
  • no blazing sun
Veronica teucrium is also a hardy variety

Vanilla flower (Heliotropium arborescens)

Especially large specimens look very nice in tubs. The flower can also be grown as a standard. The small blue-purple flowers exude a sweet scent of vanilla, hence the name. Bees love the delicate inflorescences. The leaves, on the other hand, are dark green, sometimes tinged with purple and slightly wrinkled.

  • Height 30 to 120 cm
  • upright, compact growth
  • Flowering from May to September
  • sunny to semi-shady, wind-protected location
  • Protection from strong midday sun

Lantana (Lantana camara)

With its upright, bushy to rounded habit, it is a classic among potted plants. The Lantana is also popular as a standard. The color of the small flowers ranges from white to yellow-orange to red-violet. The resulting fruits are poisonous.

  • Height 30 to 140 cm
  • Flowering period from May to October
  • sunny to partially shaded location
  • good neighbors Goldmarie, flour sage (good bee pasture)

Rockrose (Cistus)

The evergreen shrub has a bushy, upright habit. The narrow, mid-green leaves are somewhat sticky. The 4 cm large flowers are bowl-shaped. The yellow stamens are visible in the center. They appear in the colors white or pink.

  • Height 50 to 150 cm
  • Flowering from May to July
  • full sun, warm location

Tip: Flower mixtures with marigolds, cornflowers, cosmos flowers and other wild flowers are also highly recommended. They can be sown in large pots and tubs.

Poplar-leaved cistus, Cistus populifolius

frequently asked Questions

Which planters should be used for balcony planting?

Planters are made of a wide variety of materials, which are also reflected in the price. Plastic containers are mostly used. These score with their low weight, are inexpensive, unbreakable and easy to clean. Clay pots or terracotta are also popular. They are significantly heavier and not glazed, which allows air to be exchanged. However, the moisture evaporates quickly and limescale efflorescence occurs on the outside.

How should the care of balcony plants look like?

Regular watering is important. This is necessary several times on hot days. The watering should be done directly on the surface of the earth. Depending on the type of plant, regular fertilization is then also necessary. Furthermore, always withered and faded must be cleaned. This stimulates the plants to form new flowers. Otherwise, it is advisable to cut back trees in the fall.

Are all plants actually suitable as bee pasture?

No. Only plants with simple flowers should be used. These have enough nectar and pollen. Plants with double flowers are less suitable. The dense petals make it very difficult for the bees to get to the actual food source.

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