All Things Gardening forum→Stingless Bees

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OAP
Aug 3, 2020 8:14 AM CST
I have been doing my best to attract honeybees to my garden. I am afraid I have had no real success so far, unfortunately. Anyway, I stumbled across this article today and thought I would share it. I had no idea there was such a thing as stingless bees. Blinking

(Learn something new everyday! Neuroscientists say that is the key to keeping our brains functioning well as we journey through our golden years.).
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
[Last edited by OAP - Aug 3, 2020 8:14 AM (+)]
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Name: GERALD
Lockhart, Texas (Zone 8b)
Hydroponics Greenhouse Region: Texas
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IntheHotofTexas
Aug 3, 2020 10:29 AM CST
There are more varieties of bees than people realize. One big reason is that most don't live in colonies, so you don't see the buzz of activity around the hive. And being solitary, they typically don't all mob every flowering plant around. And many look enough like honeybees that you you wouldn't recognize the difference unless you were familiar with them. I often see mason bees on my flowers. They are solitary bees. But it's mainly the coloration of their abdomen that is different from honeybees.

We have seven different bees in Texas. Hunting and cutting down "bee trees" for the honey was a recognized occupation in the early days. Experienced people would track a honeybees cross country back to the tree or cave. The mason bees are major pollinators, as are squash bees. Sweat bees like people because they want the salt in our sweat. Also big pollinators. The leaf cutter bee's name pretty much says it all. Carpenter bees are eclectic pollinators, but they're so large they are often mistaken for bumblebees and are too big for a lot of flowers and have to cut their way in to get the nectar. Bumblebees are everyone's favorite, until you happen to plow up the old rodent burrow where they spent the winter and wake them up before they're ready.

Only the honeybee has a colony to defend, so the others are never aggressive. Honeybees themselves aren't aggressive unless you offer a threat. The problem is what they consider a threat. Beekeepers wear white because the bees are thought to interpret any large dark moving mass as a bear out for their honey. The only time my domestic honeybees were grumpy by nature was on an overcast day. I'm not sure why. But I didn't try to work with them on a cloudy day. On a nice day, I could open their hive and inspect and even remove and replace frames and feeders wearing a white tee shirt and no protective gear at all. Of course, they were mainly gentle Italian bees.

I usually have a colony in a big oak tree beside the house. They keep what I call a patrol bee on guard, and she will attack anyone who gets within about 30 feet. She's very persistent and will keep after you until she stings you or you leave. And a lawnmower or any other motor drives them wild. As does your clothing, if it's the color of a flower. We can't wear pink or red or orange anywhere near that tree. They really hate my orange Kubota tractor.

Once you start watching for mason bees homes, you'll find them in a lot of containers, just a clean hole, just bee size. That's where they deposit their egg which will hatch next year, already an orphan. Mason bee houses are easy to make and a good project for gardeners who want more pollinators but would rather not have a honeybee hive or can't have one because of antiquainted ordinances. There are things you can do to help the mason bees have more success over winter.

A couple of things bees like when they're looking to settle. A source of water. Put out multiple bowl of water. They need quite a lot. Obviously blossoms. And a place to live. Most don't live in hives. A less than obsessively cleaned up garden and yard is more attractive to them. If you have property, you can find professional beekeepers who will place some of their hives on your land so they can harvest honey from them. Especially if your neighborhood has a lot of flowers. And there are even urban bee services that will place a mini hive in your hard and take care of it for you for a fee.
[Last edited by IntheHotofTexas - Aug 3, 2020 10:41 AM (+)]
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OAP
Aug 3, 2020 5:50 PM CST
Gerald, my dear, once again you are a fount of knowledge. Thank You!

Well, I always knew that insects outnumber human beings something like a gazillion to one. A quick search on google shows that there are an astounding 20K different bee species worldwide! Found this link if anyone wants to look at it.

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story....

I see very few bees around here. I mostly see wasps, unfortunately.

Here is a link on the Mason Bee. I had never heard of it before.

https://thehoneybeeconservancy...

From Wikipedia:

"Mason bee is a name now commonly used for species of bees in the genus Osmia, of the family Megachilidae. Mason bees are named for their habit of using mud or other "masonry" products in constructing their nests, which are made in naturally occurring gaps such as between cracks in stones or other small dark cavities. When available, some species preferentially use hollow stems or holes in wood made by wood-boring insects."

Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Aug 3, 2020 7:18 PM CST
IntheHotofTexas said:
...We have seven different bees in Texas...


Gerald, you do Texas a disservice! Texas has six native families (not counting non-native honeybees), but 800 species of native bees. The vast majority of them are solitary bees.

OAP, plant flowering plants native to your area in your garden. Read up on native bee habitats and how to create and protect them. The primary cause of decline in native bee populations is loss of habitat. Research what plants are beneficial to native bees in your area. If you live in a neighborhood somewhat barren of flowering plants, the bees might not know you're there or won't travel to visit your garden if you have only a couple of plants they're interested in. It could take a while to create a garden that attracts a diverse population of bees and other pollinators. As Gerald noted, many nest in stalks, wood, and various nooks and crannies, but most are ground-nesters. They actually need bare ground, so try to leave some areas un-mulched. Those native bees really are not at all interested in you and many are so small you'd barely notice them—and if on the rare occasion they do sting, it's the equivalent of a mosquito bite or less.

Check out or join the Xerces society. The have wide-ranging information in the forms of booklets and webinars and most are free, but a donation is worthwhile, given all the work they do.
https://xerces.org/

Here's some other info:
https://npsot.org/wp/story/201...
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
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OAP
Aug 3, 2020 9:49 PM CST
Thank you, nmoasis for the info. I have been trying to grow plants to attract them. Those were my instructions in 2019 whence a friend's son was going to help me put in some plants. He suggested Frog Fruit--attracts bees and butterflies. This year, I put in a lot of Salvias. The bees were going crazy over them at the garden centre. I now have some mini roses in pots, too. I have Turk's Cap in a huge pot as well. I am somewhat limited on space.

I saw a segment on a programme some time back (maybe it was on P. Allen Smith's Garden Home) where a guest spoke about having an insect house in your garden and showed out to make one with tons of nooks and crannies. I looked into buying one this year, but the ready made ones had poor reviews. I might have to revisit an how-to video on YouTube or something. The one thing I worry about is attracting more wasps! I would love to have a bee keeper keep a small hive here, but given the people around me, I fear they would not be safe. People around here would automatically kill any insect they thought might sting even if it did not sting them. It is really disheartening. I have one bed area left that is pretty big relatively speaking that I would like to develop either this Autumn or next Spring. I fear I am not up to getting the ground ready myself. I may have to look into what it would cost to have the ground done, and then I could do the planting. I would be thrilled to walk outside and find sweet little bees everywhere. Green Grin!
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Aug 3, 2020 10:29 PM CST
OAP, I'd never heard of Frog Fruit and looked it up. Beautiful plant!

I realize it's easy to say "plant native pollinator plants" and another to do it. There are tons of sites about flowers that attract bees and butterflies, but by installing flowers and shrubs native to your area specifically, you'll attract a more diverse selection and sustain local populations, and that takes a bit more research and effort. I, too, have a small garden, and while I do have generally recommended plants, I'm aiming to concentrate more on natives next spring, so I figure I'm going to have to start planning soon. Finding sources of seeds and plants is the first challenge. Perhaps your community has a native plant society? As previously mentioned, Xerces is an excellent source of information, and they have chapters in most states. One advantage is that most plants native to a given area don't require or even like heavily cultivated or amended soil. Less work for you!

Honey bees need a vast source of food. A small garden won't sustain a hive. Sad

That Smithsonian article is a yet another example of how much we have to learn about the complex, mysterious world of insects. I find them endlessly fascinating.

Btw, my daughter gave me a print subscription to Smithsonian for my birthday so I don't have to squint at my phone or sit at my computer to read it. Oh joy! The other gift was a cordless drill. She's tired of me borrowing hers. Thought you might relate. 😉

For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.

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ElPolloDiablo
Aug 3, 2020 11:46 PM CST
Perovskia (Russian sage) is the most powerful bee magnet you can find and it's both problem-free and almost maintenance free (only need to prune it once a year). Bonus point: flowering period is extremely long so you don't have to plant anything else.

But if you want Bumblebees (they do 70% of the work while bees get all the glory) nothing beats Buddleja "Flower Power".
The Saviour.
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OAP
Aug 4, 2020 8:50 AM CST
Thank you, Diablo. I have never heard of either plant. Are they readily available in most large cities, or would one have to grow them from seed??

Thank You!
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
[Last edited by OAP - Aug 4, 2020 8:53 AM (+)]
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OAP
Aug 4, 2020 8:52 AM CST
Thank you, Diablo. I have never heard of either plant. Are they readily available in most large cities, or would one have to grow them from seed??

Do you have these growing in your garden? Can you attach some snaps?

Thank You!
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
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OAP
Aug 4, 2020 9:19 AM CST
nmoasis said:OAP, I'd never heard of Frog Fruit and looked it up. Beautiful plant!

I realize it's easy to say "plant native pollinator plants" and another to do it. There are tons of sites about flowers that attract bees and butterflies, but by installing flowers and shrubs native to your area specifically, you'll attract a more diverse selection and sustain local populations, and that takes a bit more research and effort. I, too, have a small garden, and while I do have generally recommended plants, I'm aiming to concentrate more on natives next spring, so I figure I'm going to have to start planning soon. Finding sources of seeds and plants is the first challenge. Perhaps your community has a native plant society? As previously mentioned, Xerces is an excellent source of information, and they have chapters in most states. One advantage is that most plants native to a given area don't require or even like heavily cultivated or amended soil. Less work for you!

Honey bees need a vast source of food. A small garden won't sustain a hive. Sad

That Smithsonian article is a yet another example of how much we have to learn about the complex, mysterious world of insects. I find them endlessly fascinating.

Btw, my daughter gave me a print subscription to Smithsonian for my birthday so I don't have to squint at my phone or sit at my computer to read it. Oh joy! The other gift was a cordless drill. She's tired of me borrowing hers. Thought you might relate. 😉



Yes, I can relate! Smiling I ended up buying a Bosch PS31-2A. I have not opened yet, but I must do soon to be sure it is right for me before the return window closes. I was gifted a subscription to Smithsonian a few years ago. I saved them. Somehow there are always more chores to do around here than there is quiet reading time.

By the way, as an aside, if you find your junk snail mail has increased a bit, Smithsonian is likely to blame. I work tirelessly to stop all junk snail mail to my home. Suddenly, I began receiving junk snail mail in my full, correctly spelt name, so I knew whoever was behind it somehow "knew" me. With a bit of effort, I found out it was Smithsonian. They "automatically" opt you in to sharing your information unless you tell them not to do. I asked them, "how do you expect me to know you 'automatically' do this unless I opt out first? By the time I find out, it is too late!" Anyway, it took me a solid year to stop the extra junk mail. I had to contact each sender individually and demand that they stop sending me junk mail and not share my name and address. It was an headache and a half, and in some cases required I file BBB and state attorney general consumer protection complaints to get it stopped. Europe has laws preventing this sort of thing from ever starting in the first place. I wish we had the same sort of law here.

Re natives, yes I had discussed this in some detail with the young man who helped me get a garden started last year. I bought everything he told me to buy at the organic garden centre, and he planted it all for me. I am sorry to say, it was a MAJOR disappointment. I spent roughly $650 on plants, compost, and mulch, and almost nothing succeeded. The Frog Fruit should have taken off like wildfire, but it hardly spread at all even this second year. Only the Inland Sea Oats did well, and although I like them, I find they are no where near enough to make me happy in my garden. In fact, I have been thinking of taking them up. They are so pretty in early Spring, but then, they flop over and look like dead soldiers lined up in a trench.

He also planted Red Columbine for me which I really loved, but half of it died. The other half that returned has looked feeble and frail all year again and barely put out any flowers except a couple in Spring. It is supposed to handle sun fine, but I find it does not. He also planted small pots of Cedar Sage and Lyre Leaf Sage. All but two died, and neither of the remaining plants has grown one iota, and this is the second season they have been out there. So, whilst the logic behind planting natives seems sound, it did not work, at least in my case.

This year, looking at an almost empty, pathetic garden, I planted Salvias and Ferns, and so far, they have done beautifully. I finally have something of the look I wanted for my garden. If I had it to do all over again knowing what I know now, I would not waste my money on natives. It is ironic that being natives, they acted here as though they were some rare, exotic species from the Himalayas! This was the second time in my life I tried and failed at getting a garden growing. The first time was way back in the '80s. I paid someone to put in large beds around my house. I spent over $2000 in landscaping and ended up with lakes that held pools of water for weeks at a time in the Winter. I said never again. Then, last year, now retired and still craving a garden, I spent a much smaller but still costly amount for my budget on getting a garden going, and once again, it was a failure. Aside from the Oats, absolutely nothing took off last year, and the beds were barren burial sites over the Winter. Only the Oats, a few of the Columbine, and a little bit of the Frog Fruit came back, and as for attracting the pollinators, I have seen a few butterflies back there this year, but they were much more interested in the potted plants and the Salvias I planted this year.

I guess the upshot for me is that I am no longer interested in natives. Whilst they make a lot of sense on many levels, they did not work for me, and I cannot afford to keep pouring a few hundred dollars each season into plants that do not take off and thrive. I am really sorry I let him talk me into ANY of those plants. I wanted traditional plants such as Hollyhocks, Roses, Irises, Crossvine, and other flowering plants. I should have said, "no, I take your points, but this is a garden that has to satisfy my sensibilities, and plants that produce almost no colour are not for me." Of course, I had no idea that the plants would not take off and flourish. What a waste of money that was. Never again. D'Oh!
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Aug 4, 2020 9:45 AM CST
Edited to add--oops, we overlapped. While I was writing about the benefits of natives, you were telling me why you don't want them. So you can disregard the below. I agree entirely about needing to feed your sensibilities. If I could grow an English cottage garden here in the harsh conditions of New Mexico, I would do so in a heartbeat. Tried it when I first arrived, crashing failure, so I'm trying to nurture what works. End of Edit.

OAP, Perovskias (Russian sage) and Buddlejas (Butterfly bush) are both in the NGA plant database.

@ElPolloDiablo, Interesting you brought up Perovskia in this thread. In a recent webinar I attended on New Mexico pollinators, someone asked a question about their value as food source for native bees. They grow like weeds here and virtually every yard and commercial planting has some. I do, too. (Side note, they are neither Russian nor sage. They are from Asia). I was somewhat surprised when the question was answered by a collective shrug by the panelists. They do attract some "generalist" native bees like bumbles and carpenters—and since those also tend to be bigger and flashier, they get a lot of attention—but they are not considered a valuable food source for most of the other many species of native bees, which require other specific plants for nectar and pollen.

OAP, in your original post you said you want to attract "honeybees" to your garden. Why honeybees? You've indicated your fear of getting stung, and of all of them, honeybees are most likely to sting. Perhaps if you better defined your reason for that, it would help you decide what plants to grow. Tailoring your plants to your local ecosystem, you'll not only attract native bees, but myriad other pollinators as well, such as butterflies and moths. What is your goal?
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
[Last edited by nmoasis - Aug 4, 2020 9:51 AM (+)]
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OAP
Aug 4, 2020 10:24 AM CST
I have a Butterfly Bush in a pot. It is doing okay, but it has not taken off as vigorously as the Lantana which is not native (that I am aware) but is a traditional, beloved shrub that WORKS.

Re my goals, I want a pretty garden with lots of colour and some architectural interest that will attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. I am more familiar with honeybees (never stung by anything except wasps) than any other bees, and I know they are wonderful pollinators which is why I mentioned them. I am not adverse to natives per se, but I definitely do not want natives that do not perform, and aside from the Inland Sea Oats, none of what I put in Spring 2019 performed at all. The few plants that came back look as tiny and as sickly as they did after they were planted. I listened to an "expert." Second time I did that and it turned out badly. From now on, I listen to my own eyes and nose and ask questions I think pertinent. I went to Calloways weeks ago and saw some gorgeous Skyscraper Salvias that the bees were going crazy over. I bought two and planted them. it took a good month or so for them to come into their own, but they look spectacular right now. If I had asked that young man last year about them, he would have undoubtedly poo-poo'ed them. He also liked that gosh awful ugly Agave that now is HUGE. I hate that thing. It thrives here, and it would probably thrive where you are, but it does not feed my soul in the least.

I guess I am speaking now to the old folks and to any folks young or old in very poor health because life is SHORT, and you do not have years to waste on things that do not work. Planting natives may be great in theory, but try one or two before you go hog wild with them and spend a lot of money that amounts to nothing more than a big financial donation to your organic garden centre. Plant what will please your eye and nose. Other plants besides natives attract pollinators. Even if the pollinators never come, would not you rather have a garden pleasing to your eyes and nose than one that does not please? Let the young, healthy people follow the natives plan unless you know for sure they are working for you. I can tell you in no uncertain terms they have not worked for me. I have three sages (one Cedar and two Lyre Leaf or vice versa) that survived from last year, and despite doing all of the right things for them including food, shade/sun, water, they are no bigger than the day they went into the ground! And, they do not appeal to the eye. They are just small, unattractive, non-flowering, rather sickly looking plants that are taking up valuable room in a small garden, but hey! They are natives!!

In some very hot and/or dry climates, you are constrained by what will grow and truly thrive. Look around your neighbourhood and see what is doing well in your area, and of those plants, decide which ones appeal to you and whether or not you have similar growing conditions so you can reasonably gage what might and might not work in your own garden. Traditional plants like roses, various bulbs, Hollyhocks, Crossvine, and others are beloved classics for a reason: they feed the soul and they work provided the right amounts of sun/shade, water, etc.

I have begun to think about this purely from a business perspective of late. If you want to break into the nursery business, you have a difficult needle to thread in order to compete with well established nurseries in your area, so perhaps you should approach the whole thing from the businesswoman's/businessman's perspective. Why not market "natives" as the best thing since sliced bread? After all, you can make very good, logical arguments for why native make total sense. Also think "organic." Now, I am totally in favour of organic because I think we use chemicals to death, literally. However, the twin notions of "organic" and "native" could appeal to a large sector of the population and help you get your business off the ground. Here where I live for example, there is only one "organic" garden centre selling many natives, and it is a 40+ mile round trip by motor. If you want to go "organic and native," they have earmarked your dollars for their till.

Please do not mistake what I am saying. I am NOT saying organic and native are bad ideas. I am sure in many conditions they work beautifully well, but I promise you that just because you go organic and native it does not guarantee you any success. I found that out the hard way. I think "native" to some degree is in vogue, and it also allows for a new type of business to gain a toehold in an already saturated marketplace. Just consider how many places sell plants now. You can find them in every grocery store, Lowes, Home Depot, Ace and other hardware stores, Walmart, Target, etc., etc. Once upon a time, gardeners went to nurseries, period. Now, tons of other businesses market to gardeners, including on-line companies and even small sellers on etsy. They all want your hard earned, hard saved dollar, and they are going to market to you in the best way they can to make sure you spend your dollar with them and not any of their competitors. The landscapers are the same. My friend's son who helped me in 2019 and suggested all of these natives operates a fledgling landscaping business wherein he pushes organic and native. Sometimes, you have to stop and think about things from a very pragmatic point of view of the people who are advising you. Do they want the exact same things you want? Probably not.

Anyway, that is my advice after twice investing in landscaping advice and plants, etc. I thought I was not naive about anything a my age, but the fact is we are all naive to trust blindly in what the "experts" tell us.
We need to educate ourselves, and we can begin doing that just by looking at the gardens of our neighbours and learn from them. Ask their opinions on these matters. They are unlikely to have anything to gain by advising you, so they are more likely to give you both sides of the story so to speak.

From now on, I would trust the advice of an ordinary home gardener in my area over the advice of the "experts," and no one will ever preach to me again about the value of organic and native. They are not bad ideas per se, but you really have to look closely at your goals. Do you want a colourful, architecturally appealing garden full of blooms? If so, my advice is go organic insofar as you possibly can go, but think very seriously about what suggested "natives" can do for you. I think in most cases, you will want to go with the traditional plants we have all seen and loved since we were kids. If I absolutely could not grow anything but Agaves and similar in my beds, I would grow them because something is better than nothing, but I would not have a garden that I loved and that provided sustenance to my soul. Personally, speaking for myself, I do not have years left to experiment with natives (one big failure was enough) and organic gardening. I stay organic as much as humanly possible, but if chemicals are the only way to solve a problem after repeated attempts, then I will go with chemicals. I will also buy and plant to my aesthetic taste, not to what is in vogue with some gardeners, nurseries, and landscapers. In 2019, with the advice of my friend's son, I thought I could not be going wrong. Boy! Was I mistaken! Never again!
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
[Last edited by OAP - Aug 4, 2020 10:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Aug 4, 2020 1:44 PM CST
The nice thing about gardening, and NGA, is that there is something for every taste, interest, budget, growing conditions, energy level and lifestyle. Go for what you love, and send photos!
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
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OAP
Aug 4, 2020 1:50 PM CST
I agree Smiling
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts

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ElPolloDiablo
Aug 5, 2020 12:36 AM CST
nmoasis said:

@ElPolloDiablo, Interesting you brought up Perovskia in this thread. In a recent webinar I attended on New Mexico pollinators, someone asked a question about their value as food source for native bees. They grow like weeds here and virtually every yard and commercial planting has some. I do, too. (Side note, they are neither Russian nor sage. They are from Asia). I was somewhat surprised when the question was answered by a collective shrug by the panelists. They do attract some "generalist" native bees like bumbles and carpenters—and since those also tend to be bigger and flashier, they get a lot of attention—but they are not considered a valuable food source for most of the other many species of native bees, which require other specific plants for nectar and pollen.



I planted Perovskia near the gate together with Echinops thistles because I needed something that could handle the heat of that position, the caustic dirt coming from the road (mostly concrete dust, cortesy of real estate speculators being let loose by the council) and be low maintenance.
Little did I know it would attract swarms of bees when it bloomed. It's beyond crazy how many congregate there.
Funny thing is bumblebees stay the other end of the property, chiefly on the Buddlejas. But here is another funny thing: bumblebees shun the Royal Purple and swarm on the Flower Power. Final funny thing for the day, out of the two Flower Power bushes one only attracts bumblebees, but the other attracts literally everything you can think of, including butterflies I haven't seen here before.
This Winter I am probably planting a Spanish broom in the middle of the two Flower Power just to get some yellow color for a break. Let's see what that attracts. Hilarious!
The Saviour.
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OAP
Aug 5, 2020 8:20 AM CST
Please post snaps of your plants, Diablo, so we can see what they look like! Thank You!
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts

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ElPolloDiablo
Aug 5, 2020 2:36 PM CST
OAP said:Please post snaps of your plants, Diablo, so we can see what they look like! Thank You!


Right now they look squashed by the storm we had on Sunday night. Hilarious!

That's the only big problem with Perovskia: it gets easily squashed by foul (fowl?) weather. I plan to build some steel wire cages for them this Winter, hopefully they will solve this issue.
The Saviour.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Aug 5, 2020 3:15 PM CST
EPD, There are only a couple photos of Buddleja Royal Purple in the NGA database and no listing for Flower Power at all that I could find in those 16 pages of Buddlejas. Submit and grab your opportunity for fame and acorns!

I nearly bought a buddleja a few weeks ago, but the weather was so unbearably hot at the time I figured I was courting failure by trying to plant anything. I have a perfect spot just waiting for something big, colorful and bee- and butterfly-loving.

One of my Perovskias is also sprawled all over from the recent storms. They grow more compact with reduced irrigation (like, almost none), and the sprawly one gets runoff from nearby pots. Another grows in a crowded, neglected spot directly next to the compost bin: much denser, but also a different variety, so I don't know if it's a different growth habit or location.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.

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