Beekeeping Grow Posts

30+ Plants for Arizona Bees

Here are 30+ plants for Arizona bees that you can pick up at the nursery now to provide nectar and pollen all summer long.

I just got back from visiting one of my favorite nurseries in the valley, Summerwinds Nursery. There have been lots of questions about what to plant for bees right now, so I thought it might be helpful to run through the nursery with my camera so I could show you exactly what you can plant here in Arizona for your bees. In the process I made a new beekeeper friend, Eric, who gave me an up-close-and-personal tour of the bee-loving plants at Summerwinds. Thanks Eric! (I’ll be seeing you on the Arizona Backyard Beekeepers Facebook page from now on.)

30+ Plants for Arizona Bees

30+ Plants for Arizona Bees


Rock Verbena (perennial)


Verbena bonariensis (perennial)

verbena bonariensis


Bulbine frutescens (perennial)

bulbine frutescens


Coreopsis (perennial)


Salvia nemorosa (perennial)


Salvia farinacea (perennial)


Ageratum (perennial)


Shasta Daisies (perennial)


Gloriosa Daisy (perennial)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—Gloriosa Daisy


Red Salvia (annual/perennial)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—Red salvia


Rudbeckia—Black-eyed Susan (perennial)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—Rudbeckia


Dahlberg Daisy (annual)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—dhalberg daisy


Zinnias (annual)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—zinnia


Autumn Sage (perennial)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—Autumn Sage


Society Garlic (perennial)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—society garlic


Dwarf Buddleja (perennial) Lots of beautiful purple flowers

Nursery plants for arizona bees—buddleja


Cape Mallow (perennial)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—Cape Mallow


Heliotrope (perennial/annual)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—heliotrope


Verbenas of all colors (perennial/annual)


Scabiosa/Pincusion Flower (perennial)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—scabiosa


Basils of all kinds (most are annual)


Herbs (thyme, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, mints…)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—herbs


Lavender – French, English, Spanish, Fern Leaf (perennial)

Nursery plants for arizona bees—lavender


Native Perennials


Don’t forget seeds!


In my garden now

These are some of the flowers the bees are loving right now in my garden. It’s always nice to know what is flowering throughout the year to make sure that bees are getting enough nectar and pollen. Keep a log of what is blooming in your garden to help plan for future plantings. Most of the plants listed above are perennial, which means they will bloom year after year.

The bees will thank you!

About the author


Welcome to my blog! I’m Cricket (yes, my parents named me that!) and I’m a natural homesteader. Growing up in rural Idaho with a garden, a horse, and lots of canned food, I like to bring those sensibilities to my suburban home in Phoenix, Arizona. Add a little dose of cottage garden flavor and permaculture tendencies, and you’ll see why GardenVariety.Life is a reflection of everything I do.

I truly enjoy sharing the skills that promote a meaningful and practical connection to our gardens and environment. Because so many residents of the metro phoenix area are transplants, I find that the area’s unique desert climate is often misunderstood and underestimated in terms of what is possible. That’s where the fun begins. Arizona is a burgeoning permaculture haven with homesteading written all over it, and there is nothing I enjoy more than encouraging others to jump in and give it a try.


  • Cricket, love the article about bee plants, but what many folks don’t realize is that many nurseries and big box stores provide plants that have been treated with a neonicotinoid pesticides which harm bees and butterflies. If the plant is not marked organic, they need to ask if this plant has been treated. Neonicotinoids are systemic and are persistent; they can take a long time to breakdown. Mike Hills and I are giving a DIG bee class on May 7 at the Extension Office. We talk about what people can do to help the bees and ways they are inadvertently harming them.

    • Thanks Lee Ann. I always look for that information on the tags, but I did fail to mention it in the article. Do you know if pant suppliers are required to put that information on the tags?

  • Love many of the plants listed above. Do all of them survive the summer here. I know the purple salvias have done really well in my yard through the years. They die back in summer but come back in fall. I also have a lot of poppies blooming right now, both California and oriental. What about the Mexican primrose that can be evasive in some yards. Love the verbena also. It also dies off in summer in my yard but it seems to come back from seed. What about lantana?? or Ruella? Are these bee plants? Right now my acacia tree is buzzing with bees.

    • Victoria, many of these plants do survive the summer, most especially the natives. The blue salvias and basil live all summer in my garden. I have most of them underneath trees so they do get shade. Ruellia and lantana are definitely plants bees love, as are Mexican Primrose. The plants I see bees on all summer in my garden are the zinnias. This year I’m planting a lot. Queen’s wreathe (coral vine) will grow huge and attract bees. Luffa vines too. I’m trying to be more intentional about what is blooming around me through the year. Thanks for pointing out what the bees are buzzing around your garden.

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