If you’ve got a windowsill, a balcony, or a front door step, you can help give our bees and butterflies a much needed boost!

Not all of us have gardens, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still plant pollinator-friendly pots, window boxes or hanging baskets.

Whilst it is always preferable to plant native species, we appreciate that many people like non-natives too. These can still be very beneficial for pollinators, so as long as they are not invasive, it’s ok to plant them.

Grow a wildflower meadow in a pot

We have some beautiful wildflowers that can be easily grown in pots on a sunny doorstep. Here’s how:

Step 1: Ensure that your container has good drainage in the bottom (if not, you could drill some drainage holes) and prepare the pot by putting crocks or rocks in the base.

Step 2: Fill the container to a few inches below the rim with a peat-free multi-purpose compost.

Step 3: Add a 2cm layer of a peat-free seed compost and then thinly sow a layer of wildflower seed.

Step 4: Add another 1cm layer of seed compost and again, sow a layer of wildflower seed.

Step 5: Cover with a final 1cm layer of seed compost and water well but gently so as to not disturb the seeds.

Step 6: Place the pot in a sunny spot and water weekly.

Recommended: cornflowers, wild pansies, poppies, corn marigolds, corn buttercups

Plant a pollinator-friendly hanging basket

If you have an external wall or fence post that you are able to mount a bracket on, then a hanging basket can be a great way to support your local pollinators.

Step 1: Line your hanging basket with conifer clippings or an old woolly jumper (don’t use sphagnum as this may have come from a peatland).

Step 2: Add a couple of layers of thin plastic (such as an old bread bag) into the base to help retain moisture, but pierce a few drainage holes in it to avoid it becoming waterlogged.

Step 3: Fill two-thirds full with a peat-free compost. Plant tall plants in the centre, followed by smaller plants around it and trailing plants around the sides.

Step 4: Fill in any gaps with compost.

Step 5: Hang your basket in a sunny spot and water regularly.

Recommended: 

Tall central plants: knapweed, scabious, lavender

Smaller plants: pansies, marigolds, sweet alyssum

Trailers: ivy, nasturtium, honeysuckle, sweet pea, Lobelia ’pendula’

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