Plants for Pollinators in the UK

Creating a Buzz in Your Garden

The importance of pollinators in our ecosystem can’t be overstated. As gardeners, we can play our part in supporting them by choosing plants they love.

Finding the right plants for bees is just one part of the story. Most insects in the UK and around the world are key to pollination, from butterflies to bluebottles!

In this blog, we’ll explore 20 plants native to the UK that not only add beauty to your garden but also provide valuable nectar and pollen for our buzzing and fluttering friends. We’ve picked some of the lesser-known plants for this blog, we also know that Forget Me Nots, Foxgloves and Buddleia are a favourite amongst our winged friends – but what about something a bit different?

Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus)

goats beard plant in the sun

Goatsbeard is a hardy perennial that produces tall, creamy-white flower plumes. Its flowers are a magnet for bees and other beneficial insects during its summer bloom time.

We’ve written a full guide on growing this delightful perennial with its wispy flowers over on our Aruncus dioicus blog.

Nipplewort (Lapsana communis)

This perennial plant produces small yellow flowers that attract a range of pollinators, including bees and butterflies. It’s a great addition to a wildlife-friendly garden.

Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)

Viper’s Bugloss, with its vibrant blue flowers, is beloved by bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds. Its nectar-rich flowers bloom from late spring to early fall.

Jacobs Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)

This perennial produces clusters of bell-shaped flowers that are a hit with pollinators. It’s a beautiful plant that also benefits the insect world.

Devil’s-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis)

This perennial wildflower produces round, lavender-blue flower heads that are a favourite of butterflies, bees, and hoverflies. Its long blooming period provides nectar well into autumn.

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)

Known for its sweet, almond-like fragrance, Meadowsweet’s frothy clusters of tiny white flowers are a popular feeding spot for pollinators during its summer bloom time.

Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)

Wild Marjoram, with its pinkish-purple flowers, is a top-notch nectar plant. It’s loved by a multitude of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hoverflies.

Wild Basil (Clinopodium vulgare)

This perennial herb’s tiny, pink-purple flowers are a favourite with bees and butterflies. Its delightful fragrance is an added bonus.

Betony (Stachys officinalis)

Betony’s dense spikes of purple-red flowers are irresistible to bees and butterflies. This easy-to-grow perennial adds both beauty and pollinator appeal to your garden.

Wild Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)

Wild Angelica is a robust perennial that produces large, spherical clusters of tiny white or pink flowers. These nectar-rich blooms draw in bees, butterflies, and a variety of other beneficial insects.

Lesser Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)

A favourite among butterflies, Lesser Knapweed is a hardy perennial that produces thistle-like flowers with purple florets.

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)

Wild Carrot, also known as Queen Anne’s Lace, is a biennial plant with delicate, lace-like flower clusters that attract a variety of pollinators, particularly bees.

Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

This cheerful wildflower, with its iconic white petals and yellow centres, is a hit with bees and butterflies. It’s a perennial plant that adds brightness and pollinator appeal to any garden.

Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

With its vibrant yellow flowers, Bird’s-foot Trefoil is an important nectar source for many butterfly species. This low-growing perennial also adds a splash of colour to your garden.

Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor)

A unique annual wildflower, Yellow Rattle is known for its yellow, bell-shaped flowers. Not only does it attract bees and butterflies, but it’s also beneficial for maintaining a balanced meadow ecosystem.

Red Campion (Silene dioica)

With its abundant pinkish-red flowers, Red Campion adds a pop of colour to your garden while offering nectar to bees, butterflies, and moths. It’s a hardy perennial that can grow in both sun and shade.

Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense)

This perennial wildflower, bearing striking violet-blue flowers, is a favourite with bees. It’s an excellent plant for adding colour and wildlife value to your garden.

Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)

Known for its ragged, pink petals, Ragged Robin is a native wildflower that’s loved by bees, butterflies, and hoverflies. It thrives in moist soil conditions, making it perfect for wetland gardens.

Cowslip (Primula veris)

A traditional favourite, Cowslip offers clusters of bell-shaped yellow flowers that attract a host of pollinators. It’s a versatile plant that can thrive in both sun and partial shade.

Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis)

Field Scabious produces lavender-blue flowers that not only add beauty to your garden, but also serve as a nectar source for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.


Planting a garden that supports pollinators is not just a beneficial practice; it’s also a deeply rewarding one. By choosing from the variety of UK-native plants mentioned above, you can create a beautiful garden space that buzzes with life and contributes to our ecosystem’s health. Remember, every plant you add to your garden helps to support the vital work of pollinators. Happy gardening and stay Wonky!