Aesthetically Appealing Plants that Attract Wildlife


Avoidance of chemical pesticides is crucial for attracting wildlife to the garden as well as for creation of a perfect retreat and habitat for local wild animal species. However, many of them tend to be attracted by plants such as stinging nettle which are closer to weeds rather than garden plants. A patch of stinging nettles somewhere in the corner of the garden is acceptable but a garden full of “weeds“ gives a neglected appearance. Fortunately, all wild animal species do not require aesthetically unappealing plants. Bees for instance will continue to return to the garden as long as they find nectar-producing plants no matter if they are local or exotic plant species. However, there is also a number native plants that will attract other forms wildlife without ruining the beauty of the garden nor make it look neglected.

Many native plants can be easily incorporated in just about every garden regardless of its style and layout. Here are a few native plants that will delight wildlife without affecting the beauty of the garden:


Bramble. The thorny blackberry bush attracts a number of animals and is one of most important plants for wildlife conservation. Its nectar-producing flowers attract bees and other pollinators, the leaves are an important source of food for stick insects, while many birds feed on blackberries in autumn (if not collected for own use). Brambles are also an important food source for larvae of a number of moths and butterflies.

Dogwood. This woody plant produces fruits which are an important food source for many birds and small mammals, while a number of insects feed on the leaves. It is one of the most commonly seen plants in organic gardens as the birds which are attracted by dogwood fruits will pick the pest insects as well to feed their young.

Dandelion. A popular companion plant is an important source of nectar for bees as well as for many butterflies and moths. However, it tends to be invasive which is why it is recommendable to remove the flower heads before they mature.

Wild rose. It is not as aesthetically appealing as garden rose, however, wildlife prefers wild roses over mostly hybrid ornamental species. The flowers attract bees and other pollinators, while the fruits are an excellent food source for birds.

Ivy. The evergreen climber that can be trained up the fence, pergola or wall will be most certainly appreciated by wildlife. Its flowers are of vital importance for the ivy bee, a solitary bee which feeds the larvae exclusively with nectar from ivy flowers. These are also an important food source for honey bees, bumblebees, hornets, wasps and a number of other nectar-feeding insects, while the fruits which ripen in winter are an important source of food for many birds.

Honeysuckle. Another climbing plant that is found in most parts of Europe including Britain is attractive to wildlife too. Its flowers attract bees, bumblebees and other insects that feed on nectar, while the birds love its bright red berries. Like most climbers, honeysuckle can be trained up the fence, pergola or wall.