Are you looking to add some life to your garden while supporting local biodiversity? Look no further! We’ve put together a list of 10 native plants that are easy to grow in UK gardens. These plants attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, and provide a great habitat for local wildlife. Plus, they’ll look fantastic in your garden!
1. Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
The Oxeye Daisy is a perennial wildflower that thrives in nutrient-poor soils. Its bright white petals and yellow centre make it a beautiful addition to any garden. This versatile plant can be grown in a wildflower meadow, a mini-meadow, or even in a wildflower container.
Oxeye Daisies are a fantastic nectar source for bees and butterflies, making them a great choice for pollinator-friendly gardens. You can buy Oxeye Daisy seeds on Amazon.
2. Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
Common Knapweed, also known as Black Knapweed, is a perennial that prefers well-draining soil and full sun exposure. Its thistle-like flower heads, which range from pink to purple, bloom from June to September, providing a long-lasting display in your garden.
Knapweed is a favourite amongst pollinators, attracting bees, butterflies, and moths. For more information on how to design your garden with native plants like Knapweed, check out our guide on how to design a garden.
3. Red Campion (Silene dioica)
Red Campion is a shade-tolerant perennial that thrives in moist, fertile soil. Its pink to deep red flowers bloom from April to November, providing a vibrant splash of colour to your garden throughout the growing season.
This versatile plant can be grown at the edge of a pond, in a bog garden, or in a partially shaded flower bed. Red Campion also serves as a caterpillar foodplant for several moth species, making it an excellent choice for promoting local biodiversity.
4. Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)
The Yellow Flag Iris is a moisture-loving perennial that grows well along pond edges and in bog gardens. Its bright yellow flowers, which bloom from May to July, add a striking element to any water feature.
Yellow Flag Iris prefers full sun or partial shade and moisture-retentive soil. Be sure to check out our guide on improving garden drainage to ensure your soil is suitable for these plants.
5. Wild Primrose (Primula vulgaris)
The Wild Primrose is a charming perennial that thrives in partial shade and well-draining soil. Its pale yellow flowers bloom from February to May, making it one of the first wildflowers to appear in spring.
Wild Primroses can be planted in woodland gardens, rock gardens, or along shady borders. They also make excellent ground cover and can be used to fill in gaps between larger plants.
6. Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium verum)
Lady’s Bedstraw is a low-growing perennial that forms a dense mat of fine, fe
athery leaves. Its tiny, fragrant yellow flowers bloom from June to September and are a magnet for bees and other pollinators. This drought-tolerant plant thrives in full sun and well-draining soil, making it a great choice for rock gardens, borders, and green roofs.
7. Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense)
Meadow Cranesbill is a hardy perennial that produces stunning blue to violet flowers from June to August. This versatile plant prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade.
Meadow Cranesbill is a popular choice for cottage gardens, mixed borders, and meadow-style planting schemes. It attracts bees and other pollinators, helping to support local biodiversity. Learn more about common garden and lawn pests to ensure your plants stay healthy.
8. Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)
Hedge Woundwort is a shade-tolerant perennial that grows well in moist, fertile soil. Its distinctive purple flowers bloom from June to September and attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
This plant is ideal for woodland gardens, shady borders, and wildlife gardens. Hedge Woundwort is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat wounds and inflammation.
9. Wild Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)
Wild Angelica is a striking perennial that can reach up to 2 metres in height. Its large, umbrella-like clusters of tiny white flowers bloom from July to September and attract various pollinators, including bees and hoverflies.
This plant prefers moist, well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade. Wild Angelica is an excellent choice for creating a dramatic focal point in a bog garden or along a pond edge. Be sure to read our guide on how to design a small garden on a budget for more inspiration.
10. Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea)
Greater Stitchwort is a delicate woodland perennial that produces an abundance of white, star-shaped flowers from April to June. It prefers dappled shade and well-draining soil, making it an ideal choice for woodland gardens and shady borders.
Greater Stitchwort is a valuable early nectar source for bees, hoverflies, and other pollinators. It also serves as a caterpillar foodplant for several moth species.
By incorporating these 10 native plants into your UK garden, you’ll not only create a visually appealing landscape, but also provide valuable habitat and food sources for local wildlife. Plus, many of these plants require minimal maintenance, making them perfect for busy gardeners and DIYers alike.