Grow these Gorgeous, Easy-to-Grow Container Plants for an Abundance of Flowers that Attract Bees & Butterflies!

I enjoy running horticultural trials; I spend much of my time searching for the most gorgeous plants that will produce a profusion of flowers and attract bees and pollinating insects.  I love to share the most successful plants from my trials with you to help you find top quality plants to enhance your garden.  The plants I recommend in this column need to be grown in a bright and sunny location, in well-drained soil or containers filled with peat-free compost.

Here’s a closer look at the seeds in my Suttons Seeds Wildflower Mix Seeds for Window Boxes. This pack contains the seeds of 20 different species of wildflowers. Aren’t seeds so beautiful? I find it utterly amazing to think of how many flowers the hundreds of plants grown from this small pinch of seeds could produce!

The months of April and May gives us the last chance to sow seeds of a divine array of meadowy plants.  If you’re sowing seeds, act swiftly as plants need time to develop and mature to be able to bloom this summer.  If you’ve not sown seeds before do give it a try – it’s exhilarating to watch teeny-tiny seeds germinate!  I find it relaxing and uplifting to observe as seedlings mature into flowering plants.

Both of these window boxes are displaying plants grown from Suttons Seeds Wildflower Mixes.

Last May, I filled a series of window boxes with old peat-free compost and then scattered pre-mixed packs of flower seeds over the compost, using a different seed pack for each trough.  I enjoyed fantastic results with Chiltern Seeds ‘Balcony Mixture’, Suttons Seeds Wildflower Mix Seeds for Patio Pots, and Suttons Seeds Wildflower Mix Seeds for Window Boxes.  Different seeds have different requirements.  The seeds from these seed packs require light to germinate, so don’t cover the seeds with compost or they won’t grow.  I water the compost in the container, then sprinkle the seeds evenly over the compost; next, I press the palms of my hands very gently on top of the seeds just to ensure the seed makes a lasting connection with the compost.

My window boxes were lifted onto a flat roof and watered twice a week in dry weather.  Due to these containers’ precarious location on the roof, the plants weren’t deadheaded, yet these planters were full of flowers from the end of June through until the frosts arrived, attracting a wide range of bees, butterflies, moths, and pollinating insects.

This window box was sown with seeds from a packet of Chiltern Seed Balcony Mixture. This pack contained a colourful mix of plants that flowered in waves throughout the summer months and up until the end of October. These plants produced flowers in array of vibrant shades and included a shocking-pink Cosmos that flowered later in the summer.
My plants were grown in window boxes on a flat roof. I didn’t ever deadhead or tend to these plants, the only attention they received was to be watered once (or maximum twice) a week in dry weather.
This window box was sown with seeds from Suttons Seeds Wildflower Mix for Patio Pots at the beginning of May. This picture was taken on the 21st June 2023. My plants continued blooming throughout the summer months and into autumn.
This window box was sown with seeds from Chiltern Seeds ‘Balcony Mixture’ at the beginning of May. This picture was taken in the middle of July, when this fantastic dwarf cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) plant had been flowering for over a month.
This window box was sown with seeds from Suttons Seeds Wildflower Mix for Patio Pots at the beginning of May. If you’re planning on sowing seeds, take action now, as your plants will need time to grow and reach maturity so they can flower this summer – make haste, as time is of the essence!
This window box was sown with seeds from Suttons Seeds Wildflower Mix Seeds for Window Boxes. The plants that grew in this container were a uniform height and the flowers attracted a range of bees and other pollinating insects.
This window box was sown with seeds from Suttons Seeds Wildflower Mix for Patio Pots at the beginning of May. My plants began flowering towards the end of June and continued blooming throughout the summer and into autumn.
Here’s a closer look at the flowers grown in my window box using seeds from a Suttons Seeds Wildflower Mix for Patio Pots. These seeds would also be happy growing in a sunny border.
Sorry about the poor quality of this picture, I couldn’t get as good pictures of these plants as I wanted, as I grew these plants in window boxes on my roof! This window box was sown with seeds from a packet of Chiltern Seeds Balcony Mixture. This pack included both half-hardy and hardy annuals including, Cosmos, Cornflowers, Alyssum, Nemesia, Calendula, Viola, Dianthus, and more!  Due to the window boxes being on the roof they were never deadheaded and were simply watered one or two times a week in times of drought.
Calamintha nepeta is a hardy perennial that produces a continuous supply of gorgeous tiny flowers with mauve nectar guides to direct bees. My plants flower abundantly from mid June until November. I’ve never once deadheaded my plants; I just leave them alone. Calamintha nepeta is incredibly drought tolerant; it’s a fantastic container plant and makes a superb plant for a sunny border.

If you’re looking to buy plants, consider planting Calamintha nepeta; it’s an absolute darling of a plant that produces masses of dainty, tubular flowers, creating a soft, misty floral haze that’s perfect for a fairy garden.  This hardy perennial is a real delight and a magnet for bees!

In my old garden, I used Calamintha nepeta to soften the lines of my garden walls. These plants grow up to around 50 or 60cm (20-24inches) tall.

I grow Calamintha nepeta in planters of peat-free compost and planted directly in the border to soften the edges of my garden walls.  This modest little hardy perennial is an underrated superstar that’s incredibly drought tolerant and naturally floriferous.  Calamintha nepeta flourishes in sandy, silty, and free-draining soils; this hard-working plant thrives in containers and just gets on with it!  There’s no need to cut back or deadhead Calamintha nepeta plants; my plants flower continually from the end of June through until the middle of November!

Calamintha nepeta has scented aromatic foliage. I’ve spotted a variety of bees visiting these plants, including honey bees, common carder bees, and other bumble bees.

To discover more fantastic container plants for bees and butterflies, please click here.

For even more ideas for container plants for bees and butterflies, please click here.

To see more articles I’ve written about my Trials of Flowering Plants, please click here.

For more gardening advice for May, please click here.

To see more articles about my Container Trials, please click here.

For articles about edible gardening, please click here.

To see my plant pages and find pictures and tips on how to grow a wide range of plants including, houseplants, orchids, ferns, scented plants, trees, shrubs, vegetables, fruit, and flowers, please click here.

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