Bee Guide March

01 Mar, 2023

Autumn is here, meaning it’s a perfect time to start thinking about what to plant for the coming winter, spring and even summer. Pollinators consist of bumbles, solitary and honey bees, as well as butterflies, birds, flies, ants and even some New Zealand lizards!

Bee-friendly Plants In Flower

Early autumn will still offer an abundance of food for pollinators from the summer flowering plants. It’s still hot out there, so keep on with the watering until the wet season approaches.

Aster - Instore only

A hardy perennial that can grow in all hardiness zones in New Zealand. Aster, meaning ‘star’ in ancient Greek, has beautiful flowers that are a delight for both bees and butterflies.


Borage is a long-flowering annual herb that is perfect for bringing bees into your garden. Try planting the seeds or plants underneath fruit trees to encourage a wider spread of pollination.


Roses should still be in bloom this month (depending on the variety), and now that autumn’s here, the long-flowering roses should be wide open, allowing better access for bee foraging. Don't forget to deadhead the old flowers!


This herbaceous perennial is probably the best-loved pollinator plant in the garden right now! Sought-after for its long flowering time, it will keep the garden looking beautiful well into autumn.

Pineapple sage

A beautifully scented plant with deep-red flowers, pineapple sage attracts pollinators with longer tongues (like butterflies). With a hard frost, pineapple sage will die down for winter, but will come away again the following spring.

Bee-friendly Plants Ready For Planting

Remember to keep watering your newly planted bee and pollinator-friendly plants. Mulch to lock in the moisture and add SaturAid granules to plants in pots or dry areas.


Also commonly known as ‘winter marigold’, calendula is a herbaceous annual that is traditionally used in salads, colouring for cheeses or as a replacement for saffron with its edible petals.


Also known as ‘New Zealand flax’, phormium is a great native plant that brings an abundance of birds and bees into your garden. Plant now to establish faster flowering.


A New Zealand native evergreen that will fill any gap in the garden, and makes excellent garden borders, hebes attract both bees and butterflies.


This hardy biennial plant is an unusual member of the borage family. With its flowers blooming on nodding stems, the honeywort isn’t stunning at a distance but up close it’s rather enchanting. Found in our small-herb section. Note that these sometimes need to be specially ordered!


Sold in our small-herb section, yarrow was introduced to New Zealand as a feed for livestock, but also feeds our butterflies and bees! Being drought-tolerant, it’s a must for any small ‘bee-friendly’ garden.

Monthly Bee Tip

Having trouble choosing a bee-friendly plant? Talk to one of our staff over the phone or over facebook and they will be able to help you with any specific bee-friendly gardening requirements.

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