10 plants for wildlife

Wondering why your garden isn’t getting much interest from pollinators and other wildlife? It could be that you just need to add in some wildlife friendly plants! These types of plants have qualities that attract insects and birds, from high nectar levels, to factors that add up to a great habitat to hide from predators and the elements.


Below are 10 wildlife friendly plants that would work well in almost any garden!


Geranium sanguineum

Rosser1954, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

1. Geranium sanguineum

Wildlife: Bees, birds, butterflies

A low-growing alpine, Geranium sanguineum brings a pop of colour to rock gardens, and can even be planted into dry stone walls or between stones to fill in gaps! It’s also ideal at the front of a border or lining footpaths, as it’s a ground cover plant. Plant in partial shade to bring life to those areas of the garden that might not get as much wildlife activity.

Flowers from May to July.


Lavandula Angustifolia Hidcote

2. Lavandula Angustifolia Hidcote

Wildlife: Bees, birds, butterflies

Of course, a lavender variety had to be on this list! This wonderfully fragrant plant is a favourite of bees and butterflies, in particular, and has many uses both outside and inside the home (such as making into pot-pourri). It’s a low growing plant, making it ideal for borders in sunny positions.

Flowering from June to September.


Hedera Hibernica

3. Hedera Hibernica

Wildlife: Insects, birds

It’s not just about nectar for pollinating insects – ivy benefits insects of all kinds, and even some birds, thanks to its suitability as a habitat. It grows well in sun or shade, and can be trained against a wall or mesh.


Verbena bonariensis

4. Verbena bonariensis

Wildlife: Bees, butterflies, other pollinating insects

A tall, back of the border plant that pollinating insects – particularly bees and butterflies – absolutely adore. Verbena is really easy to grow, and is well suited to moist but well-drained soils in a sunny position. 

Flowers from June to October.


Echinacea Purple 'Magnus'

5. Echinacea Purple ‘Magnus’

Wildlife: Bees, butterflies

Also known as coneflowers, Echinacea jazzes up pots and the middle of the border in an instant with their bright colours and large flowerheads. Grow them with other flowering perennials and ornamental grasses in full sun, and watch as they become a feast for bees and butterflies!

Flowers from July to September.



Knautia Macedonica

6. Knautia Macedonica

Wildlife: Bees, butterflies

A pink pom pom full of nectar native to Macedonia! These flowers have established a reputation of being a great source of nectar for bees and butterflies. Growing to around 80cm, they’ll add height and colour to your borders.

Flowers from July to September.


Bee Perfect Rose ‘Bijenweelde ®’

Salicyna, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

7. Bee Perfect Rose ‘Bijenweelde ®’

Wildlife: Bees, other pollinating insects

As its name suggests, this is a brilliant rose for attracting bees to the garden. It’s easy to care for – no special pruning required – and pairs well with perennials and shrubs in mixed borders. Add a pop of vivid red to your garden. The bees will love it (and its long flowering time, too)!

Flowers from June to October.


Nepeta Faassenii

8. Nepeta Faassenii

Wildlife: Bees, butterflies

It’s not just cats that love catmint! Nepeta Faassenii is loved by bees and butterflies, and combines well with other pollinator friendly plants such as salvia and echinacea. It’s a low-growing plant (around 30-50cm in height) and requires a sunny site to thrive.

Flowers from May to October.


Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm

9. Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm

Wildlife: Bees, butterflies

Well known as Black Eyed Susan, this rudbeckia is a very cheery, tall plant that looks best when planted in groups – although it’s great for adding a pop of yellow on its own in pots order borders. This plant will grow in moist soil conditions, but it prefers a sunny position to really thrive.

Flowers from August to September.


Geum Chiloense Mrs Bradshaw 

Ghislain118 (AD) http://www.fleurs-des-montagnes.net, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10. Geum Chiloense Mrs Bradshaw 

Wildlife: Bees

These crimson flowers sit atop long, thin stems, and evoke that coveted cottage garden feel. Don’t be surprised if you hear a buzzing around your geum – bees love it, and they’ll keep coming back throughout its long flowering period. Plant in sun or partial shade, in nutritious, well-drained soil.

Flowers from June to September.


Which of these wildlife-friendly plants piques your interest? Let me know in the comments below!

[Images via Pexels, Pixabay, Hippo Px, Public Domain Pictures and PxHere]

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