Like many people and organisations the RHS is concerned about the potential unintended effects of pesticides on bees, other pollinators and the wider environment. This is why we work closely with Defra, the Chemicals Regulation Directorate and other organisations and are very careful with the gardening advice we provide too.

We don’t proactively promote insecticides and always offer advice on alternatives to insecticides, where they will be helpful.  We always aim to encourage a responsible approach to gardening and pest control and urge gardeners to be considerate if using insecticides.  

When giving gardening advice we always consider wildlife and we manage and promote Perfect for Pollinators, encouraging and helping gardeners to identify and grow plants that will provide nectar and pollen for bees and many other types of pollinating insects. 

Perfect for Pollinators is also endorsed by the Government’s National Pollinator Strategy.  Find out more about Plants for Pollinators

The RHS is actively involved with the National Pollinator Strategy and welcomes any move that increases our knowledge and understanding of the factors that may play a role in the decline of pollinators and other wildlife.

Increasing the diversity of plants grown in the UK and growing more plants for pollinators is vital for the future of our pollinators, which is one of the reasons why our work to help millions of amateur and expert gardens have success in their gardens at home, and to garden responsibly, is vital too.


RHS statement on pesticides in horticulture

“One of the biggest problems for bees and other pollinators is a lack of flowering plants. Britain’s gardens, and gardeners, are critical to support pollinators and there are often more of these insects thriving in gardens than surrounding agricultural land.

“It is better for pollinators that gardens are crammed full of Perfect for Pollinator plants, providing them with vital nectar and pollen, than no plants, or plants without flowers.

“People concerned by the decline in pollinator numbers can purchase plants grown without synthetic pesticides from organic nurseries. The RHS will continue to work with government on the National Pollinator Strategy, which sets out actions and goals to support pollinators and try and answer questions surrounding the causes of pollinator decline."

“We advise our hundreds and thousands of members and millions of other gardeners to avoid using pesticides. Where there is no reasonable alternative we urge anyone using pesticides to proceed with caution and never spray open flowers.”

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