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Plants for bugs

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Read the blog

Read the blog

Read lead scientist Helen Bostock's blog on the project.

What you can do

What you can do

Gardeners have a huge impact on the biodiversity in their gardens.

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What is the Plants for bugs project?

Small copper butterfly

Plants for Bugs is a four-year study into wildlife gardening being run by the RHS at Wisley Garden in Surrey. Under investigation is the question of whether the geographical origin of garden plants makes a difference to the abundance and diversity of garden invertebrates.

The plants we used

Osteospermum jucundum

Our plant selection includes native and non-native species.

Recently spotted

Violet ground beetle

Violet ground beetle, Carabus problematicus

The practical problems...

<a href="/Gardening/Sustainable-gardening/Plants-for-bugs/Problems-and-solutions" title="The practical problems...">The practical problems...</a>

Collecting samples and data from projects like Plants for Bugs often poses a host of practical problems for scientists - capturing overhead photos of each bed & keeping each flower bed with a boundary yet still allowing the free movement of crawling insects, for example. But where there's a will, there's a way...

Fascinating facts  

  • Nearly 8000 individual flying insects have been recorded visiting flowers on the plots on designated sampling occasions, including 16 species of butterfly and seven species of bumblebee.
  • The Vortis suction sampler has captured more than 30 species of spider from the plant foliage.
  • More than 300 species of ground dwelling insect have been caught in the pitfall traps, 47 of which are ground beetles (Carabidae).
  • In total more than 80 000 invertebrates have been recorded during four years of monitoring.

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Plants for Bugs Day – a first look at results - Mon 17 March, 9.30am – 4pm

Plants for Bugs Day – a first look at results - Mon 17 March, 9.30am – 4pm

A joint event by the RHS and the Wildlife Gardening Forum aimed at gardeners interested in the scientific work behind wildlife gardening, and the role of native and non-native plantings.

See more details, booking required.

Wild About Gardens

Wild About Gardens

Want to know more about how you can make your garden a great place for wildlife.  Wild About Gardens has a wealth of information.