5 Bee-Friendly Plants Suitable For Terracotta Pots

Mud Mountain Blog

a bee on a thistle near a terracotta pot

As well as providing your garden space with injections of colour, vibrancy and a wave of distinct natural aromas, a carefully selected variety of plant life—displayed in a beautiful handmade terracotta pot—can be a brilliant way of attracting the industrious bees that populate your outdoor spaces. 

The overwhelming majority of plants rely on pollinators to reproduce and thrive, and it goes without saying that without plants, the ecological repercussions would be disastrous. Plants help keep our waterways clean, prevent soil erosion, produce oxygen, absorb CO₂, and generally just make our surroundings a little more colourful.

Let’s take a look at some of the best bee-friendly plants to grow in your large terracotta pots:


Basil is a commonly-used herb in cooking, but it’s perhaps less well known for its gloriously bee-friendly qualities. The colourful white-to-light purple flowers are brilliant for attracting a whole host of bee species, with their delicious source of nectar and pollen.

Basil grows best in well-drained soil in a warm, sunny planting site. Very sensitive to cold weather and frost, your basil plant will thrive if potted in a suitably temperate area of your garden. The advantage of choosing a handmade pot for your basil plant, is that you can reposition the container around your garden as the sun traces across the sky, or you can find a sheltered location if the temperatures drop.


Another easy-to-grow versatile cooking herb that bees just adore. Sage plants are perfectly suited to growing in large handmade terracotta pots, and the plant’s flowers will bloom beautifully in the springtime; adding splashes of colour to your garden with blues, purples, pinks and whites—natural tones that bees naturally gravitate toward. 

If you choose to start growing this fragrant herb, it’s worth remembering that it grows best in loamy, well-drained soil. If watered regularly, your sage plant will grow between 12 and 30 inches tall in areas where they are exposed to full sunlight.

lavender in a large terracotta pot


A favourite for short-tongued bumblebees, this elegant plant could be a wonderful addition to your garden space. Available in a variety of different colours and shades, a geranium will add a unique vitality to your outdoor spaces and help keep those buzzing pollinators nourished. 

A purple cranesbill geranium, with rich violet-blue petals, reddish veins and a paler centre is particularly popular with leafcutter bees. The iconic plant will  flower from June to September, before dying back for winter, and growing afresh the following year. Ideal for growing in tall terracotta pots and planters, thanks to their traditional aesthetics and generous size, you can prolong the flowering period of a geranium simply enough with some careful deadheading.


With more than 180 aster species available, there’s no lack of options when it comes to finding the ideal plant for your terracotta planter. Their star-like appearance—which gives asters their name—are a firm favourite of bees and will grow beautifully in a handmade Italian pot. With plenty of space in which to flourish, an aster can grow up to 4ft tall, perfectly manageable with the right choice of container. 

The typical bloom period for an aster is between summer to mid-autumn; when bees are still thriving and looking for that late-season source of nutrients. This is particularly helpful for bees, as the majority of other flowers have already gone into dormancy by the beginning of autumn.


Lavender is a relatively simple plant to grow in large terracotta pots, and its distinct, rich colour is a huge draw for bees. The busy pollinators revel in the nectar and pollen the plant offers throughout the spring and summer months. 

These plants will thrive in a spacious handmade terracotta planter; their shrub-like appearance is easy to maintain and will grow up to 3ft tall if there’s enough room for its roots to sprawl. The intoxicating aroma of lavender, and its purple-colored blooms, won’t fail to entice bees—and the plant’s tubular flowers make it easy for longer-tongued bees to forage for their daily harvest.

How can we help?

Our traditional and contemporary terracotta pots are suited to a variety of different planting needs; from common herbs and flowers to shrubs—even olive and lemon trees! If you’d like to ask any questions about our pots and planters, and their suitability for growing bee-friendly plants, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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