Create a Bee Friendly Planter

Creating a bee-friendly garden is easy! Learn how to choose the right plants, provide shelter, and avoid pesticides with these simple tips.

Create a Bee Friendly Planter

This year, I wanted to create a few large scale planters to add some color to our backyard. These planters have made the perfect addition to our new outdoor space.

They are so easy to put together and there are only a few simple steps to take. The hardest part is deciding which flowers to choose!

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We have been working very hard on finishing a new deck build, landscaping, a tree fort, and pool installation! I will be sharing all of that with you over the summer months #whoopwhoop! But first, I want to share a great idea for sprucing up the yard.

It was important to me that we provided our native bees and other beneficial insects with some plants that would encourage them to pollinate and do their thing. Bee health plays a vital role in their native habitat, so today, I am sharing tips on how to create a bee-friendly planter!


Planting a pollinator garden is such a great way to support your native bee species and create something beautiful at the same time. There are so many kinds of bee-friendly flowers and plants to choose from too.

I chose plants that are drought-tolerant and like to be exposed to full sun. We live in an area that gets very hot in the summer months and we are often away camping, so it was important that our plants could withstand periods of time with very little water.

All of our plants were purchased at Costco. I love Costco for local, inexpensive plants! Here are the plants that we used to create our bee-friendly planters.

Bee Friendly Plants:

Black-Leaved Thrift

Armeria maritima ‘Vesuvius’

Perennial | full sun | good for edging

Perennial Sage

Salvia ‘Sensation Deep Rose’

Perennial | full sun | good for containers

Pink Thrift

Armeria maritima ‘Dusseldorf Pride’

Perennial | full sun | flowers spring and fall

Perennial Sage

Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’

Perennial | full sun | summer flowers


Annual | sun to part shade | good for cascading edges

Border Pink

Dianthus Firewitch

Perennial | full sun | long bloomer

Autumn Stonecrop

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Perennial | sun to part shade | fall blooms


Annual | sun to part shade | summer blooms



Perennial | full sun | hardy and drought-tolerant

What next?

I chose a mix of mostly pink and purple flowers. For each of our planters, I purchased a 5-gallon lavender, two 1-gallon perennials, and 3-4 annuals. I used these DIY Plastic Bucket Planters to create our bee-friendly garden.

Good drainage is always important in a planter. Here I have filled half of our container with rocks and sand-based soil.

bee friendly planter

I invited my mom and grandma over to fill the remainder of the pots with potting soil and plants. We had a wonderful time getting together to plant!

Check out my How To Plant Annuals post for more detailed tips, photographs, and a step-by-step guide for planting.


I love how these planters filled out! Using a large planter will allow for more time between waterings, which is important during our hot summers!

And choosing plants that are drought-tolerant and bee-friendly is a win-win! Not only do they look beautiful, but they smell good too!

More Good Options for a Bee-Friendly Garden:

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Bee balm
  • Bee-friendly seed mixes
  • Native wildflower seeds

Tips and Tricks:

  • I got all of our plants from Costco, but you can also check out your local nurseries and garden centers for bee-friendly plants.
  • When building container gardens, choosing the right plants is important. Consider flower shape, plant height, and whether you want a mix of different colors or a monochromatic look. Do you want perennial plants or annuals? How much water do they need? Find the plants that work best for you.
  • Native species are preferable to non-native plants when creating a bee garden. While a wide variety of plants will attract the native bee population, some plants from outside of their local area can affect these important pollinators in unexpected ways.
  • Choose plants that have a range of bloom times. This will provide a long-lasting food supply for bees and other insects.

Here is a shot of our backyard and planters. This used to be the Salsa Garden, but is now a simple pathway between the deck and tree fort. Soon the upper portion of the yard will have a new pool too! Stay tuned for more updates.

What are some of your favorite bee-friendly plants?

about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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Beautiful job! And as a beekeeper myself, thanks for going bee friendly!

Beautiful job! And as a beekeeper myself, thanks for going bee friendly!

Were you able to ascertain when you purchased the plants that they had not been treated with any products containing neonicotinoids? I expect you are aware how very harmful neonicotinoids are to our pollinators.