Getting started with gardening

Plants for native bees

Want to attract native bees to your garden? Find out which plants they love the best.

Plants for buzz pollinators

Common name Scientific name
Cassia Senna species
Velvet bush Lasiopetalum species
Guinea flowers Hibbertia species
Flax lilies Dianella species
Chocolate / vanilla lilies Arthropodium species
Fringe lilies Thysanotus species
Black-eyed Susan Tetratheca pilosa

Plants for all other native bees

Common name Scientific name
Gum tree Eucalyptus species
Bottle brush Callistemon species such as C. sieberi
Wattle Acacia species
Honey myrtle Melaleuca species such as M. decussata
Tea tree Leptospermum species
Christmas bush Bursaria spinosa
Emu bush Eremophila species
Cullen Cullen australasicum
Stemodia Stemodia floribundum
Australian bugle Ajuga australis
Bush peas* Pultenaea species, Daviesia species, Gompholobium species, Indigofera australis, Platylobium obtusangulum and Eutaxia microphylla
Native lilac (climber) Hardenbergia violaceae
Daisy Olearia species, Helichrysum species and Vittadinia species
Goodenia Goodenia species such as G. ovata, G albiflora and G. blackiana
Boobialla Myoporum species
Fan flower Scaevola species
Australian bluebell Wahlenbergia species
Native flax Linum marginale

* These can attract native pea bees, which rely completely on bush peas.

Blue banded bee Amegilla chlorocyanea 1 Jeremy Gramp - Green Adelaide
Blue banded bee 6 Jeremy Gramp - Green Adelaide
Blue Banded Bee Martin Stokes - Green Adelaide

Blue-banded bees. Photos: Jeremy Gramp and Martin Stokes.

Recipe for success

Native bees generally like white, yellow, blue and purple flowers the best. However, some flowers provide nectar only, others pollen only, so it’s important to have a range of plants.

Different bee species are active at different times of the year, so it’s also important to offer flowers from late winter until autumn. Plant smaller plants in large clumps. It is visually more attractive, and it allows bees to easily find what they need.

Woolly New Holland daisy (Vittadinnia gracillis)
Woolly New Holland daisy (Vittadinnia gracilis).

Main image courtesy of Jeremy Gramp.