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How to grow flowers

Flowers to attract beneficial insects

Flowering plants play a vital role in the organic garden for the creatures they attract, many of which play an important role in pest control or pollination.
Pollinators on sunflowers
Flowers attract beneficial insects that pollinate your plants and support a healthy garden ecosystem

Here is a list of flowers and herbs to attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies and find more on attracting useful predators in our gardening for wildlife section:

Flowers for Honey Bees

Rock cress (Arabis, brassicoideae); Borage (Borago officinalis); Blackberry, raspberry and hybrid berries; Candytuft (Iberis); Dog rose (Rosa canina); Heather (Erica); Mignonette (Reseda oderata); Parsnips (Pastinaca sativa); Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia); Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis); Rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium); Verbascums; Vervain (Verbena officinalis); Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquifolia); Wallflowers (Erysimum); Woad (Isatis tinctoria)

Flowers for bumble bees

Anise hyssop (Agastache anisata); Bergamot (Monarda); Bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus); Clover, red and white (Trifolium); Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus); Dhalia; Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus); Goldenrod (Solidago); Geranium (Geranium species); Green alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens); Horehound (Marrubium vulgare); Honeysickle (Lonicera); Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa); Marjoram (Origanum); Lobelia cardinalis; Lungwort (Pulmonaria saccharata); Perennial cornflower (Centaurea montana); Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia); Poppy (Papaver species); Red valerian (Centranthus ruber); Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum); Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum); Sage (Salvia officinalis); Vipers bugloss (Echium vulgare); Yarrow (Achillea vulgaris)

The British Bee Keepers’ Association list of pollen and nectar-rich plants by season and this friendly little poster to encourage us to Bee Friendly!

Flowers for hoverflies and other beneficial insects

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa); Brambles (Rubus fructicosus); Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum); California poppy (Eschscholzia californica); Carrots and carrot family (Apiaciae); Convolvulus annual (Convolvulus tricolor); Corn marigold (Chrysanthemum segetum); Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus); Coriander (Coriandrum sativum); Cosmos; Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris); Dog rose (Rosa canina); Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare); Figwort (Scrophularia); Hawthorn (Cretaegus monogyna); Ivy (Hedera helix); Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia); Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima); Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Flowers for adult butterflies

Aubretia; Buddleja; Candytuft (Iberis umbellata); Hebe; Field scabious (Knautia arvensis); Honesty (Lunaria annua); Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis); Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum); Ice plant (Sedum spectabile); Irish heath (Erica erigena); Ivy (Hedera helix); Lady’s smock (Cardamine pratensis); Lavender; Marjoram (Origanum); Mint (Mentha); Michelmas daisy (Aster x frikartii); Small scabious (Scabiosa columbaria); Sweet rocket (Hesperis matronalis); Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)

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