Perfect for pollinators guide to plants

Information sheet

Plant annual flowers that are easy to grow which will attract pollinating insects into your garden.

  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s):

"One in three mouthfuls of food we eat is dependent on pollination"

Many vegetables and fruit need to be pollinated by insects for fruit to form. Strawberries, apples, plums, raspberries as well as broad beans and courgettes rely on visiting insects to take pollen from flower to flower – a process known as pollination. This then leads to fertilisation and fruit formation. If there are not enough insects around to do this work then fruit may not form.

Commercially fruit farmers import bumble bees to ensure their crops are pollinated. We as gardeners can encourage bees and other insects by growing flowers in the garden that are attractive to bees and other pollinating insects. This will then ensure you have good pollination for your fruit and vegetable crops and so a bountiful harvest. 

Here is a short list of the easiest annuals to grow; they are ‘’hardy‟ annuals so they can be sown either directly outside in well prepared soil in spring, summer or autumn. They can also be started in pots. They do not however require frost protection or heat to grow.

  • Borage officinalis (Borage)- Sow in spring – summer
  • Calendula officinalis (English Marigold) -Sow in autumn or spring
  • Phacelia tanacetifolia- Sow in late spring and summer
  • Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower)-  Sow in autumn or spring
  • Eschscholzia californica (Californian poppy) - Sow in spring
  • Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) - Sow in late spring
  • Lavatera trimestris (Annual Mallow) - Sow in late spring
  • Limnanthes douglassi (Poached Egg Plant)- Sow in autumn or spring
  • Nigella damascena (Love in a Mist) - Sow in autumn or spring

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