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Best container small shrub for bees?

Discussion in 'Container Gardening' started by Delta, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Delta

    Delta Gardener

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    I've got a very small town yard filled to bursting already with a half dozen container shrubs & plants, plus about 20 other various plants of various sizes with about half that number of bonsai trees and it's for one of the latter that I'm on a quest for another good shrub to attract the bees. I've just "invested" in a lovely crab apple bonsai complete with fruit and I'm keen to ensure that I continue to have fruit on the tree so presumably that will require the flowers to be pollinated?

    The only shrub I have that currently attracts bees is a beautiful Deutzia STrawberry Fields which has just decided 2 years of flowers was enough to kill it and rather than replace it I wondered if there might be maybe something else more hardy as this was my 3rd attempt to maintain a Deutzia without great success.

    Any shrub needs to be small as I've a severely arthritic right hand & no ability to lift pots over 18 inches in diameter hence why I'm downsizing 95% of my current shrubs to bonsai size.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    Hiya Delta, if it is sunny there consider an agastache.....the hummingbird plant. Ok, not hardy everywhere but flowers all summer and is a bee magnet. Agastache Blue Boa is covered with bees, as are all the agastaches; Kudos Mandarin, Ambrosia and Coral are dwarf highly floriferous plants. They all have aromatic foliage, every variety with a different smell. If you take cuttings you can ensure you have plants for the following year.

    Perhaps the Buzz Buddleias too....these are dwarf bushes packed with flower and, as with all buddleias, attractive to bees and butterflies:)
     
  3. KFF

    KFF Total Gardener

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    Hi Delta, how about a hardy Fuchsia. There are some wonderful hybrids / cultivars out there. The bees love mine all Summer , hence I have to keep picking the berries off.
     
  4. Jimcub

    Jimcub Gardener

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    We have 3 fushia bushes and they are covered in bees and butterfly's
     
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    • Jack Sparrow

      Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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      I have buddleia tutti frutti. Despite it wilting badly in the heat it's still producing masses of purple flowers. My bug friendly lamium beacon silver is a great plant. It's growing stronger day by day. It's a great way of brightening up a shady corner.

      G.
       
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      • Mike77

        Mike77 Gardener

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        Bees love thyme and of course you can harvest it yourself for cooking. Lots of different varieties available, some more shrub like than others. Very hardy and drought tolerant.

        And the other favourite for the bees in my garden is bowles mauve. Very long flowing period, something to do with being sterile. Apart from bulbs it was the first plant to flower and is still going strong.
         
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          Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
        • Mike77

          Mike77 Gardener

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          Pic of broadleaf thyme I think
           

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          • Sian in Belgium

            Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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            I would be thinking along the herb path, too. I find that marjoram flowers most of the summer, and there are some lovely golden versions. If you cut back some of the flowering shoots just before, and then others just after, the main flowering time, you can really extend the flowering time. If you are looking for something around the same time as the deutzia, how about a lavender?
             
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            • Verdun

              Verdun Passionate gardener

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              Agree that lavendar is a good choice....bees have been flocking to my lavendar hedge for a few weeks now :)
               
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              • Mark56

                Mark56 Super Gardener

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                Lavender/Caryopteris like Dark Knight for August/September offerings
                 
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