Top plants for hedgehogs and attracting insects

Wildlife gardening
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What plants to grow in your garden for hedgehogs. Help hedgehogs thrive in your garden with this guide to plants that are great for our spiky friends.

Contrary to popular belief, hedgehogs don’t mainly eat slugs. Their favourite foods are beetles and caterpillars. Growing plants to attract insects is therefore one of the best things you can do to help hedgehogs. Plus, you’ll help bees too!

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A garden full of plants looks beautiful and also provides a haven for insects – a hedgehog’s favourite food

As well as providing food and shelter for insects, plants also provide shelter for hedgehogs to forage and nest underneath. The more ground cover the better! Don’t be too tidy – when plants die back in the Winter, keep the remains on the ground to provide Winter hidey holes for insects. Don’t forget fences and walls – cover them with climbing plants and ivy.

Any native plants are good but here are a few plant ideas to get you started.

Wildflowers

  • Field Scabious
  • Ox-eye Daisy
  • Meadow Cranesbill
  • Red Campion
  • Common Knapweed
  • Wild White Clover

I also love geraniums because they offer great ground cover. Buy a large pot and then divide it before planting. They will quickly establish.

TIP: Many garden centres now offer native wildflowers as plug plants or you can grow them from seed.

Solitary bee on scabious flower

Scabious attracts bees and hoverflies

Wild corner of garden for wildlife

A wild corner left long and featuring Red Campion, Knapweed and Clover

Hedging

Hedges provide a great habitat for a wealth of wildlife including nesting sites and berries for birds. They also provide free access for hedgehogs between gardens, unlike walls and fences. Native species are best and ones with large deciduous leaves are great for hedgehogs collecting leaves for their nests.

Hedgehog friendly fencing

Medium to large deciduous leaves are the best for hedgehog nest building

  • Beech
  • Field maple
  • Hawthorn
  • Geulder Rose
  • Berberis (not native but its flowers are great for insects and its berries for birds)
  • Hazel
  • Oak

Shrubs

  • Alder Buckthorn
  • Goat Willow
  • Dogwood
  • Buddleia
  • Pyracantha
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Buddleia in flower is a magnet for butterflies and other insects

Lawns

Don’t use any pesticides or herbicides on your lawn. I have learned to love the daisies, dandelions and clover that grow amongst the grass. It’s much better for all wildlife, including the insects.

Good luck with your planting and please share your pictures!

Please read my blog for more tips for hedgehog friendly gardening and what to feed hedgehogs in your garden.

You can see a video of my wildlife garden here.

I run a hedgehog rescue in York and I am also a keen gardener. All the photos are from my own wildlife garden. My work is entirely self-funded. You can read more about my work here and how to support it.

I also make silver jewellery inspired by nature and wildlife. You can visit my online shop here.

Handmade silver nature jewellery by little silver hedgehog

Handmade silver nature jewellery by little silver hedgehog

 

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