Encourage More Wildlife Into Your Garden By Growing Plants For Pollinators
If we want to encourage more insects and wildlife into our garden spaces, we need to have a variety of different plants for pollinators in our flower borders. Not only do you get year round colour, you are offering a wild buffet of pollen and nectar-rich plants that pollinating insects love.
There are plenty of plant varieties to choose from to encourage Bees, Butterflies and other vital insects into our gardens but try to avoid plants with double or multi-petalled flowers.
From Alliums to Zinnia’s and everything in between.
Flat or shallow nectar rich blossoms, such as asters, daisies and zinnias, will attract the largest variety of bees.
Long-tongued bees will be attracted to plants in the mint family, such as nepeta, salvia, oregano, mint and lavender.
Some trees and shrubs are also great for bees as they provide masses of flowers in one place.
Choose winter and early spring flowering trees such as apple, wild cherry, willow and hazel.
Butterflies will visit any garden, however small, if they can feed on suitable nectar rich plants. By carefully selecting the right plants for pollinators, gardeners can attract many species of butterfly into our cultivated green spaces. If you manage your patch to create breeding habitat you may see even more.
Nectar provides butterflies and moths with energy to fly and find a mate. In spring, it helps butterflies refuel after winter hibernation or a gruelling journey to Britain from southern Europe or Africa.
In autumn nectar helps butterflies and moths to build up their energy reserves so they have the best chance of surviving hibernation or the journey back to warmer climes.
Butterflies love buddleia, monarda, Verbena bonariensis, lavender, perennial wallflowers, marjoram and cotoneaster
Did You Know…
You can prolong the flowering period of plants for pollinators by deadheading flowers, mulching with organic compost, and watering well to keep the plants healthy.
Try to avoid the use of insecticides and pesticides – they kill butterflies, bees and many other pollinating insects as well as ladybirds, ground beetles and spiders.
Below is our handy visual guide to help you decide which annual, perennial or herb plants for pollinators are the best fit for your garden