Buttercup-like yellow flowers of Ranunculus flammula

Pond plants for pollinators

Discover which pond plants not only look good but attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies, too.

Creating a pond in a garden is one of the best things you can do for wildlife – they provide habitats, breeding grounds, food, water and shelter for a wide variety of wildlife, from invertebrates and amphibians to birds.

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Discover how to attract wildlife to your pond.

Many pond plants attract pollinators when in flower, including bees, hoverflies, wasps, moths and butterflies. Many pond plants have single flowers, which are the most attractive to pollinating insects.

Here are five pond plants that are great for attracting pollinators, recommended by Waterside Nursery at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. You can grow them in a garden pond, or in a pond in a container.

Many pond plants have single flowers, which are the most attractive to pollinating insects.

Water forget-me-not

Water forget-me-not, Mysotis scorpiodes, is a British native that flowers from May to July. It provides shelter for aquatic larvae such as tadpoles, and newts lay their eggs in the leaves. It also attracts butterflies, hoverflies and bees.

Small blue flowers of water forget-me-not
Small blue flowers of water forget-me-not

Fool’s water cress

Fool’s water cress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum) is another British native that makes an excellent oxygenating plant. It has small white flowers in summer, which attract bees, hoverflies and butterflies.

Tiny white flowers of fool's water cress
Tiny white flowers of fool’s water cress

Ranunculus flammula

This sprawling plant bears buttercup-like flowers from May to July, which attract bees, hoverflies and butterflies. The leaves also provide cover for wildlife in the pond.

Buttercup-like yellow flowers of Ranunculus flammula
Buttercup-like yellow flowers of Ranunculus flammula

Marsh cinquefoil

Marsh cinquefoil, Potentilla palustris, bears unusual, deep red flowers that are loved by bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

Ornate, deep-red flowers of marsh cinquefoil
Ornate, deep-red flowers of marsh cinquefoil

Water mint

Water mint, Mentha aquatica, bears globe-shaped, lilac flowers from June to September that are attractive to bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

Interested in creating a pond? Follow our simple guide to building a garden pond.

A water mint plant
A water mint plant

Other pond plants that pollinators love

  • Pontaderia
  • Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
  • Irises
  • Waterlilies
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Guide to pollinators