Help plant conservation by boosting diversity in your garden

Get ideas for growing with plant diversity in mind from conservation and research charity Plant Heritage

The UK has a rich horticultural history, which is the result of many dedicated gardeners over the centuries who have bred and cared for a diverse range of plants. We want to celebrate this and find ways to increase biodiversity in our own growing space.


genetic heritage contained in these plants has been preserved by only the most proactive of gardeners. It is essential that we protect those that are under threat from climate change, changing plant fashions or damaging pests and diseases. Plant Heritage is a leading horticultural conservation charity that champions and conserves garden plants to ensure they remain in cultivation and aren’t lost from our gardens – because when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Everyone can play an active role in plant conservation, whether you’re in a school or college, part of a community allotment or have your own garden or greenhouse. Planting a variety of plants may also help to mitigate against the effects of climate change, as well as benefitting the wider environment, the biodiversity in our gardens and our own mental wellbeing too.

Top tips for building biodiversity in your garden

Evaluate your growing space

Whatever space you have – whether it be a windowsill, garden or allotment – work out what you can grow. As well as space, also consider things such as light levels (if indoors), soil type and rainfall (if outdoors) and how much time you can give, and research the most suitable plants for you.

Right plant, right place

Now you have an allocated space, think about what you would like to grow and what skills you’ll need to look after your plants. A space-efficient and easy-to-care-for succulent is a great option for a school classroom or college, whereas an apple tree would work well in a garden or community allotment, depending on its size! Your local Plant Heritage group will be able to advise you on what’s good to grow in your space.

Choose your plants

Select healthy plants and plant them up with two labels – one above ground and one below by the roots – as an unlabelled plant is a lost plant. By looking after even one rare plant, you’ll be helping with vital conservation work, as well as upskilling and empowering yourself, and perhaps those around you.

Plan regular care

Think ahead about how you’ll care for your plants. Will a school cohort be looking after them as part of their GSCE biology, or will either you or a neighbour be able to water them when needed?

Share with other growers

Once your plants are in place, there are several ways to ensure their longevity. For example, by propagating and sharing plant material with others, you can help keep your plant in circulation. Local plant fairs are a good place to do this. And, if you have a rare plant, make sure it is recorded on Plant Heritage’s Plant Guardian scheme.

To find out more about plant conservation and ways you can help, visit the Plant Heritage website.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.