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The RHS 5 best plants for pollinators

30th May 2019

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Discover the 5 best plants to attract pollinators to visit your plot this summer

Bees and other pollinating insects are vitally important, and it’s thanks to them that we can enjoy lots of flowers, fruit and vegetables in our gardens and allotments. Sadly in recent years there has been a worrying downturn in their numbers, however by making sure we have lots of plants that are rich in nectar or pollen in our gardens, we can all do our bit to help support their numbers. Here then is a shortlist of some of our favourite summer-flowering plants that pollinators will love.

1. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

A common site in British woodlands, their thimble-shaped flowers, which are heavily freckled inside their throats, form on upright spires and offer many weeks of colour. Ideal for adding height and form to mixed or herbaceous borders.

2. Mexican Fleablane (Erigeron karvinskianus)

A long-flowering groundcover that is smothered with small daisies, changing from white to pink as they age. Drought tolerant and self-seeding in well-drained soil, it makes a low-maintenance gap-filler between paving slabs, and is tolerant of coastal conditions.

3. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’)

This compact English lavender produces dense spikes of fragrant, deep violet flowers above slender, aromatic, silvery-grey leaves. Possibly the best lavender for edging paths and borders, the aromatic foliage will perfume the air if you brush against it.

4. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii)

Freely producing its flowerheads over several months from late summer, this ‘black-eyed Susan’ will help extend the season of interest well into autumn. It also makes a handsome companion for ornamental grasses, so it is well suited to prairie-style settings.

5. Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

An elegant perennial with tall, branching stems, that carry tightly packed clusters of lilac-purple flowers from June to September. It offers height without density, and adapts well to a wide range of planting styles. The flowers can also be cut for the vase.

For more information on these plants, and to purchase, visit these links:


Mexican Fleblane

Lavender ‘Hidcote’

Black-eyed Susan


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