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Perennials for pollinators – more info

Planting pollinator-friendly plants makes sense, and choosing perennials means that you’re investing in the future. Bees and butterflies drawn to your wildlife-friendly border will pollinate any trees or veggies whilst they’re in the garden. How do you choose between geum or foxglove? Here we answer some FAQs to help you do just that.

Which perennials do bees like best?

Bees love to visit perennial flowers that have good stores of nectar to feed on. The bee picks up pollen at the same time and transfers this between different flowers which is how pollination happens. Hardy geraniums, open-flowered asters and salvia nemorosa are all nectar-rich and easy for bees to access. Find five tips on planting for pollinators in our article.

What perennial is known for attracting butterflies?

Echinops, knautia and sedums are good for attracting butterflies. Providing plants that flower at the beginning and the end of summer is important. This long coverage provides food to attract the 60 species of butterfly we are lucky to have in Britain.

Which pollinator-friendly perennials are best for growing in a pot?

Choose a nectar-rich dwarf perennial like rudbeckia hirta 'Amarillo Gold' to plant in your patio pot. This compact plant has beautiful flowers that pollinators love, and its size makes it perfect for container growing. Small bulbs like muscari are great in smaller pots, and look fabulous in a mixed planting scheme. Try creating a bulb lasagne, or simply mixing and matching your favourite pollinator-friendly perennials in a large pot, to provide a good mix of flowers to attract different insects.

Which are the easiest perennials to grow that pollinators love?

The biennial foxglove is an easy perennial to grow for pollinators. The attractive flower spires are especially loved by bees and readily self-seed around the garden. The unusual white foxglove ‘Alba’ and upward-facing ‘Candy Mountain’ are both delightful choices. Another fuss-free border classic that pollinators love is the hardy geranium. These plants form clumps which can be divided every few years to create new plants.

And if you’d like to try your hand at growing wildflower seed, this is a cost-effective way of introducing self-seeding flowers to your garden.

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