Do Bees Like Sea Holly?

To say that bees like Sea Holly is an understatement. Bees love wildflowers such as these so much that some people have noted that Sea Holly and bumblebees are almost like Christmas trees and ornaments; it’s impossible to find one without the other. Bees practically ornament the flowers!

If you enjoy watching bees, Sea Holly is a great addition for your garden. Not only will these flowers easily attract bees, but they make it easy to spot the bees too. Because Sea Holly is often blue or purple, the yellow bee stands out strikingly.

If you’re trying to create bee hotels for various types of bumblebees, butterflies, and other pollinators, Sea Holly is a plant you should consider growing. Sea Holly is considered one of the best plants to grow for pollinators because it attracts them far and wide.

At the same time, Sea Holly is a striking plant that humans love to look at. It has a unique spikey appearance that allows the plant to stand out in nearly any garden. Even if you are creating just a simple butterfly and bee garden, the Sea Holly is a great choice.

To learn about growing Sea Holly for bumblebees, read on. This article explains what Sea Holly is, what types of pollinators are attracted to Sea Holly, and how to grow Sea Holly. Scroll down for more.

What Is Sea Holly?

Sea Holly, formally known as Eryngium, is a beautiful flower with an unusual, spikey appearance. They are mainly native to Europe and Mediterranean areas where they grow to be between 18 and 36 inches tall. Some can even grow to be a foot wide.

The Sea Holly’s look is quite unforgettable. Their stems range from green to silvery blue in colour. These stems lead into blue cones that are surrounded by spikey bracts. These bracts, which bloom during the summer and fall months, can be in various colours, including blue, green, violet, silver, and white.

These unique-looking flowers are not just attractive. They are hardy too. They are known to tolerate high drought, winds, and salt. At the same time, they make great additions to any bee-friendly garden or butterfly garden for their ability to easily attract pollinators.

What Types of Bees Does Sea Holly Attract?

Sea Holly is a great plant for nearly all types of bees. Many avid Sea Holly fans report that pollinators of all types flock to this prickly flower. Many different bumblebees and solitary bees can be found around Sea Holly. More so, honey bees and coastal leafcutter bees are most likely to be attracted to the Sea Holly.

How to Grow Sea Holly for Bees

Bumblebee pollinating a sea holly

Because of their striking appearance and likelihood of attracting bees, Sea Hollies make great additions to just about any garden. If you are interested in growing Sea Holly, you need to get ahold of seeds, plant the Sea Holly, and deadhead it at the end of every blooming season.

Here is what you need to do in order to both plant and grow Sea Holly for bees:

Get Ahold of Seeds

Collecting Sea Holly seeds is relatively easy. Whenever the bracts turn blue, the Sea Holly will begin to self-sow. During this time, the seeds will naturally fall to the ground. Unlike other self-sowing flowers, these flowers are not considered invasive.

If you want to collect Sea Holly seeds, you can try to gently shake the flower to allow the seeds to fall into your hand after the bracts turn blue. You could also look on the ground for any recently fallen seeds.

If you do not have access to any Sea Holly plants or seeds, you can buy Sea Holly plants instead. Once you buy the plant, you can start your garden and collect Sea Holly seeds as they fall in the upcoming seasons.

Plant Sea Holly the Seeds or Juvenile Plant

Once you have the plant or the seed, it’s time to start the planting process. Luckily, Sea Hollies are relatively easy to plant and grow since they are so hardy.

First, find an ideal location for planting the Sea Holly. The area should have access to full sunlight and moist soil that offers good drainage. If you can find sandy soil, even better.

Regardless of soil type, make sure that it is a permanent location. Since Sea Hollies have large taproots, they are difficult to transplant once grown.

Next, create holes in the ground to plant the Sea Holly, using a good dibber. If you are planting a young plant, make sure that the hole is a few inches deeper and wider than the root system. If you are using seeds, sow them directly into the garden. Note that the seeds may not bloom until the second year.

After you plant the Sea Holly, you won’t need to do much until the end of the first blooming season.

Deadhead Sea Holly at the End of Every Blooming Season

In order for your Sea Holly to remain attractive, deadheading is a must. Luckily, deadheading is one of the few things you will need to do to maintain your Sea Holly. The deadheading process isn’t too difficult either.

In case you are unfamiliar, deadheading is the process of removing the deflated flowers so that the plant can spend most of its energy regrowing new flower heads instead of creating more seeds. In other words, deadheading ensures that the plant grows beautiful blooms and doesn’t grow out of control from excessive seed production.

Especially if you are planting Sea Holly for bees, deadheading is crucial. Without healthy blooms, your Sea Holly won’t attract bees.

Whenever you notice a flower fading, try to cut off the flower stem right below the spent flower. You should do this with all of the dead flowers on the plant. Most likely, you will need to do this after the blooming period ends during fall. This process will encourage additional blooming.

How to Cut Back Sea Holly

Even though Sea Holly is self-sowing, they are not very invasive. As a result, you should not have to cut back Sea Holly too much. Especially if you are diligent in deadheading the Sea Holly, you shouldn’t have to worry about cutting back the plant.

How to Care for Sea Holly

Because of how Hardy Sea Holly is, caring for this plant is relatively easy. Assuming that you planted it in a good location, deadheading is about all you should do. It’s important to deadhead at the end of every blooming season for best results.

If your area is undergoing a severe drought, it’s a good idea to water the plant. However, there’s no need to water the Sea Holly if your area has average rainfall.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a new plant to add to your bee garden, Sea Holly is a great choice. These spikey flowers attract all sorts of pollinators while looking unique and beautiful to the eye.

At the same time, Sea Holly requires very minimal effort to plant and grow. Just make sure that you select a permanent location for the flower and deadhead after blooming. By doing these two things, your Sea Holly is likely to flourish on its own, with a little help from some bumblebees. Buy your Sea Holly plants here and help pollinators thrive in your garden.

Get The Buzz!

Sign up to receive our newsletter!

Get helpful information about bees and gardening advice on the different ways you can help the UK's bee population!

You can unsubscribe at any time.