Pollinator Plants

Pollinator Plants
Why do we need to have plants for pollinators in our gardens?
Pollinators especially bees play an important role in pollinating plants & fruit & form an essential part of the ecosystem. Bees pollinate in spring & summer.  This allows plants to reproduce. Many plants rely on bees & other pollinators to survive. Pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, flies & beetles. Butterfly numbers have declined by about 50% since 1976 & 13 species of bees have already become extinct. There are approx. 60 species of native butterflies & migrants many of which are at risk of extinction. Insects make ‘the world go around’  as they pollinate crops, wildflowers, recycle dead leaves, dung & animal corpses, control pests, help keep the soil healthy & are food for many birds, lizards, amphibians, bats & other small mammals.  35 species of bees are under threat in the UK at the moment.
There are over 2 million private gardens in the UK which is more than all the nature reserves combined. If every household planted just a few plants for pollinators in their gardens it would make a tremendous difference to the future of all the insect populations. Insects are necessary for the positive operation of the eco-system. One of the major effects the further rapid decline of insects would be in farming with our inability to produce major food crops. We would struggle to survive! We can all play a part in ensuring that we have a positive future by planting plants in our gardens however small, in pots in the garden or patio, window boxes & even cracks in walls & paving. Plants can grow in even the most barren, inhospitable conditions so you can search Google & nursery websites to find ‘the right plant for the right place’. Why not start & do your bit today!
Plants that are not good for insects. Most bedding plants are not good for pollinators neither are double flowered varieties of perennials. Many plants sold in garden centres will contain pesticide residues so check on their spraying/growing policy. Smaller nurseries often use more natural growing methods.
Try to have a variety of perennials & shrubs so that you have flowering all year & especially from March to October.    
The best Summer flowering perennials & shrubs for pollinators. These are not in any specific order.
Bees have good eyesight & prefer flowers of blue, purple, yellow & white. Shallow or flat flower heads make it easier for insects to reach pollen & nectar. Tubular flowers such as foxgloves, honeysuckle, penstemons & fuchsias are good for long-tongued bees & butterflies. Single or semi-double flowered roses & single flowered perennials are best for all other pollinators.
Lavendula-Lavender(English)-one of the best all-round plants for a variety of insects that will thrive in your border or pot. Flowers July/August. Dry soil/sun. Bees,  moths & butterflies.
Achillea(Yarrow)-flowers summer & autumn. Flat flower heads make it easy for insects to find food. Sun/good drainage.
Agastache(Giant hyssop)-one of the best nectar rich plants. Pink/purple flowers. Bees/butterflies. Late summer flowering. Sun/good drainage. Agastache ‘Black Adder’ is a wonderful variety.
Allium schoenoprasum(chives) & ornamental Alliums-food for a range of insects.
Aster (Michaelmas daisy)-Long flowering season, rich in nectar & pollen. Good for bees/butterflies.
Baptisia(Wild Indigo)- Good for bees & butterflies.
Campanula(Bellflower)-Any reasonable soil in sun. Attractive to long-tongued bees.
Cynara cardunculus-Forage for a range of insects. Sun/well-drained soil.
Cirsium rivulare-Flowers June-August. Flowers not spiny like wild thistles. Bumblebees. Sun/good drainage.
Delphinium-Sun/reasonable soil. Bumblebees.
Digitalis purpurea(Foxgloves)-Self seeding perennial. Flowers in 2nd year. Long-tongued bees. Grow almost anywhere, any soil. Sun/shade.
Echinacea (Coneflower)-Colourful, flat flowers attract bees/butterflies. Nectar & pollen found in large centre. Sun/good drainage.
Echinops varieties- Sun/well-drained soil. Range of insects.
Eryngium (Sea Holly)-Eye catching plant. Sun/good drainage. Bees & other insects.
Geranium(Cranesbill)-Easily grown hardy Geraniums(not bedding types) Geranium ‘Rozanne’ & ‘Rosetta’ repeat flower all summer to October. Most other hardy geraniums repeat flower if cut back after first flowering. Attractive to bees. Reasonable soil-sun/part-shade.
Helenium (Sneezeweed)-Daisy-like flowers are a magnet for honey& solitary bees, hoverflies.
Hosta-Sun/shade any reasonable soil. Bumble bees like to forage on the flowers.
Helianthus(Sunflower)-Easily grown. Central disc filled with pollen. Broad petals provide easy landing. Bees/butterflies.
Lupin-Easily grown. Sun/good drainage. Loved by bees.
Monarda(Bee balm)-Sun/well-drained soil. Attractive to bumblebees.
Nepeta(Catmint)-Easily grown. Flowers May-end of summer. Bees & other insects. Sun/good drainage.
Origanum vulgare(Marjoram)-Hardy, easily grown, tough native perennial. Sun/good drainage. Attractive to lots of pollinators. Grow in border or pot. Useful for cooking.
Paeonia-Flower May-June. Bumblebees/Honeybees. Sun/reasonable soil.
Penstemon-Long flowering from spring to autumn. Bees.
Rosemary-Early spring to late summer flowering. Sun/good drainage. Bees.
Rudbeckia(Black-eyed Susie)-Reasonable soil in sun/part-shade. Bees.
Scabiosa (Scabious)-August flowering. Sun & good drainage. Wide variety of insects.
Verbena bonariensis-Purple flowers summer into autumn. Bees/butterflies. Sun/well-drained soil.
Veronicastrum-Flowers all summer. Rich in pollen & nectar. Bees & butterflies.
Summer flowering trees, shrubs, climbers.
Bramble(Blackberry)-Easily grown in the fruit garden or border. Useful for a variety of insects. Any soil in sun.
Buddleia(Butterfly Bush)-It’s common name tells you that it is extremely attractive to a wide range of butterflies. Grows virtually anywhere in sun/part-shade. Some varieties are invasive so if you have a small space check before buying.
Ceanothus-Sun/good drainage. Bees.
Cornus(Dogwood)- Grow as a shrub or tree. Reasonable soil in sun/part-shade. Bees.
Escallonia-Sun/reasonable soil. Bees.
Fuchsia-Reasonable soil-sun/part-shade. Has nectar/pollen rich flowers. Bees/butterflies & moths.
Hebe-Sun/good drainage. Bees, butterflies & other insects. Provides shelter for spiders, insects & small creatures in autumn/winter.
Hydrangea paniculata-Easily grown. Reasonable soil in sun/part-shade. Attractive to bees. Ordinary varieties of Hydrangeas that have sterile flowers do not produce pollen or nectar.
Hydrangea petiolaris(Climbing hydrangea)-Reasonable soil in sun-part-shade. Many pollinators. Shelter for nesting birds in
Hypericum-Sun/reasonable soil. Bees & butterflies.
Lingustrun(Privet)- Flowers June-July. Commonly used for hedging. Needs to be left to flower for wildlife. Nectar for bees, butterflies & moths.
Hedera (Ivy)-Produces small greenish flowers in September so really should be in autumn section. Attractive to many insects-honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, wasps & beetles. Red Admiral butterflies stock up on sugar before hibernating.
Spiraea japonica-Reasonable soil-sun. Attractive to bees.
Viburnum-An attractive garden plant. Any reasonable soil in sun/part-shade. Bees.
Weigelia-Early spring to summer flowering. Sun/reasonable soil. Attractive to bees.
Tags :