Kate Humble reveals the plant to avoid for a bee-friendly garden

The wildlife expert warns to leave out this common flower to help our pollinators

Wildflowers in meadow with bees underneath blue sky
(Image credit: Getty/the_burtons)

One of the most important little guys to encourage in our garden ideas has to be the bumblebee. The wonderful pollinators not only help create more beautiful plants but, of course, provide us with delectable honey.

It's easy to think that the humble bee will happily go for any flower in its path, but in reality, that's not the case. Wildlife expert and TV presenter Kate Humble explained to us why the ever-popular double-headed marigold is a plant to avoid for a bee-friendly garden.

Kate Humble in greenhouse with beans

(Image credit: Andrew Montgomery)

The plant to avoid for a bee-friendly garden

'Things like those double headed marigolds are actually terrible for bees,' warns Kate Humble. 'And that's because they simply can’t get into them!' These full and frilly flowers may look attractive, but they provide just too much of a challenge for the little buzzing bees. The quantity, in this case, doesn't offer (bee-friendly) quality.

The double-bloomed plants are low-maintenance, fuss-free and add cheerful colour to a garden. That said, they're best replaced with something which the pollinators can access more easily.

Close up of orange double headed marigolds

(Image credit: Getty/Schnuddel)

So what plants should we be looking for to encourage bees? Luckily, the answer stays well within the realm of easy garden ideas - which is always music to our ears.

'Foxgloves, snapdragons and lavender are wonderful,' says Kate. 'That's part of the joy of planting for insects. As what insects like, we often love too because they’re pretty and they smell beautiful.'

Close up of bee in purple foxglove

(Image credit: Getty/AnneMarieHayes)

The Kate Humble trick for welcoming wildlife by planting for insects can go a long way in the health and well-being of your garden. Not only that, but it's doing more for the planet.

Whether you've got a vast lawn and flowerbeds aplenty or are working with small garden ideas, planting the right kind of flowers can be done easily. 

You'll have beautiful blooms and the bees will be buzzing!

Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.