DIY backyard landscaping--Allergic to bees & no hornets. Any ideas?


Hello, need to landscape my backyard and would like to take my time and do it myself but looking for what plants, some colorful, that I can use that will not attract bees (allergic) or hornets. So far I know a Japanese Maple tree that can withstand zone 9 is one that I will plant. I have seen several suggestions on internet that states a plant did not attract bees or hornets but would go to a garden center and it would be the one plant/bush that the hornets or bees selected to stay on. Appreciate ideas. Thanks

q diy backyard landscaping allergic to bees no hornets any ideas
  15 answers
  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Nov 23, 2020

    There are lots of great backyard landscape ideas here:

    Home and Garden DIY Ideas | Hometalk

    • Marie Marie on Nov 23, 2020

      Thank you. I enjoy looking at ideas but I realize that I have to just go with something and implement.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 23, 2020

    What a nice big backyard, you'll have lots of fun designing and landscaping. Thank you for the picture and letting us know what zone you are in, that's a huge help.Looks like you will have long hot summers.

    Here is a link to plants that do not attract bees and a few facts on what not to plant to keep in mind, although you have already researched this on the Internet, you might find this brief link helpful:

    It is good you realize that we need bees and they are beneficial to the environment, but I don't know how realistic it is to expect them to just go to 1 plant or bush and just stay there, they are nomadic in search of flowers. Also are you thinking of annuals or perennials or a combination? What I would suggest is you take your situation to a master gardener through your county's extension and ask their opinion on what to plant. They have extensive knowledge.

    • Marie Marie on Nov 23, 2020

      Thank you for the information. I had never thought to contact the county and will certainly give them a try. I do realize we need bees and I can't avoid them totally so just trying to minimize them is my goal.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 23, 2020

    Bees can be found on any plant at any one time, so don't think of the fact that you saw bees on a plant that they are attracted to that plant. Flowers are going to be more likely than foliage to attract bees. Select foliage in different colors, with a variety of shades of greens and whites. I agree with others, find a landscaper or master gardener to help you.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 23, 2020


    You should go to your local nursery and show them photos of your yard and tell them how much sun or shade you get, etc. They can tell you exactly what trees or plants will work in your state and zone. As far as grass, you can plant fescue from seed that stays green year round or go with sod. Good luck

    • See 1 previous
    • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 23, 2020

      when we moved into our house, I knew nothing about plants, trees, etc so took photos of area I was working on and went to my local nursery and they gave me excellent ideas - did that each time I started a new project or area of my yards- also your county extension service has valuable info too both online and on the phone so give them a try

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Nov 23, 2020

    Hello. for the best local professional advice

    I would highly suggest contacting your cooperative extension. These offices are manned by volunteer master gardeners on site there waiting to answer the communities questions that know your local situation quite well.

    Ours offeres many resource options including subject experts, printed handouts and university support.

    Master gardeners are required to volunteer back designated hours ( plus continuing education) each year to maintain MG certification -this community outreach and education is their goal.

    If your office is closed....there Might be alternative online venues like Ask an Expert as well as emailing your local master gardeners extension office for their

    guidance.... in a non contact manner.

    • Marie Marie on Nov 23, 2020

      Wow, I am so glad I posted this question because many of the shared ideas I hadn't yet considered. Thank you, I will look into contacting the local cooperative extension.

  • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Nov 23, 2020

    Hi Marie, I would use a mix of trees and shrubs. They will be less likely to attract bees and hornets. You can use a variety of height and shapes to create texture and depth. Your local garden centre would be able to tell you which ones will adjust well to the climate you live in.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 23, 2020

    You might consider going with desert landscaping since anything that has pollen will attract some bees.

    Add color and texture by utilizing things like a bird bath, gazing ball, water fountain, and other items. Succulents in bright colorful pots would be great since you are somewhere that is hot, unless you get too much rain.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 23, 2020

    Marie, another idea is there are a lot of free designs online you can find to upload a photo and then you can add plants, trees, shrubs, etc to see how your yard would look and it would give you more of an idea of what you want to do- you could add a patio or low deck, you could add a seating area, or fire pit.

  • Non-flowering shrubs are your best bet. Try some bamboo in pots and burning bush that turns orange in the fall.

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Nov 23, 2020

    There are some tropical plants with orange/red leaves but no flower.

  • Betsy Betsy on Nov 23, 2020

    Hi Marie: Have you considered fake plants? That may be an alternative for you, or maybe Hollyhocks. Bees are not attracted to many types of trees, such as elm, birch and oak, or to conifers, ground covers or shrubs. Ornamental grasses are an excellent choice if you do not want to attract bees to your yard, as bees are not attracted to them and they add beauty to the landscape. Sedges (Carex spp.) make striking additions to water gardens, rock gardens, and as borders while producing insignificant flowers that are not attractive to bees. But, not to frighten you, there are wasps that live in the ground. Here is a site that tells about them. I only bring it up because you say you are allergic to them. I'm still scratching, and have a hole, where a wasp stung me 2 months ago :( I had ground wasps twice, and it wasn't too hard to get rid of them, but you have to do it right and at the right time. Good luck

    • Marie Marie on Nov 24, 2020

      Hi Betsy, thank you for the warning. Hope to fully heal soon. Appreciate the suggestions.

  • Annie Annie on Nov 24, 2020

    Unlimited ideas here. Gravel or concrete walk ways or patio, Paving stones, Decorative planter pots with seasonal or perennials,....

  • Marie Marie on Nov 25, 2020

    Thanks everyone. Alot of great suggestions I will certainly look into. I started alittle something yesterday and however it turns out I will be happy as I can say I did it myself...well most of it anyway 😂 Please consider resolved

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Nov 30, 2020

    Bees can be found on any plant at any one time, so don't think of the fact that you saw bees on a plant that they are attracted to that plant. Flowers are going to be more likely than foliage to attract bees.

    • Marie Marie on Dec 06, 2020

      Correct. I think if the specific time I was referring to, the plant hadn't been surrounded by hundreds of other varieties and despite this several bees chose it to fly on and off of it, i wouldn't have been so concerned.  I agree...which ever plants I get, it cannot be a kind that flowers. Won't guarantee me that I won't see a bee or hornet but hopefully they'll choose elsewhere to land.