One of the biggest problems for pollinators is a lack of flowering plants, especially those packed with pollen and nectar, so in 2011 we launched the Perfect for Pollinators logo to encourage gardeners to grow more of them. We care passionately about our bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other pollinators and believe gardens play an important role in reversing their decline. The brand has never resulted in any profit for the RHS.
We have been reviewing the logo after research found that some labelled plants contained traces of pesticides. While the RHS encourages responsible growing practices, it cannot, as a charity, police how hundreds of thousands of plants are grown each year within the horticultural trade. Rather than get rid of the brand altogether – which would undermine efforts to boost pollinator numbers – we are changing the name to Plants for Pollinators. This new name better reflects the significance of the logo; showing gardeners those flowering plants that are attractive to pollinators without commenting on the way in which they have been grown.
We anticipate that the process of rebranding may take some years as we work with the industry to ensure a smooth transition. In the interim we urge gardeners to continue to look to the logo as a guide to what plants will support pollinators in their gardens as we must continue to help these vital insects.
One of the RHS’s key objectives is to help gardeners to garden responsibly and grow more plants; for instance, we promote non-chemical means of control for gardeners and provide extensive advice on alternatives to pesticides. For those that prefer to have more confidence that the plants they purchase do not contain pesticide residues then please, we have created a list of organic nurseries here. We are also eager to continue to work with the horticultural trade and Government to establish how assurance schemes and supply chains can be improved to help buyers and gardeners make informed decisions, such as including information at the point of sale about how plants have been grown.