Bilberry plants are incredibly attractive to bees, primarily because of their nectar-rich flowers. The blossoms provide an early source of pollen and nectar in the spring when many other plants haven’t yet flowered. This makes bilberries an excellent choice for those looking to promote bee populations in their gardens. Birds and other wildlife may also be attracted to the fruit.
Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberries) is a species of shrub that produces the fruit known as the bilberry. Native to Europe and the British Isles, this plant thrives in acidic soil conditions and is often found in heathlands and moorlands.
These plants prefer well-drained, acidic soil and cool, damp climates. They thrive under full sun to partial shade. As they’re naturally found in nutrient-poor soils, over-fertilization can harm them. Instead, consider using a mulch to help maintain soil acidity.
Vaccinium myrtillus plants are generally hardy, but they can be susceptible to fungal diseases if conditions are too wet. Planting in a well-drained area and avoiding over-watering can help mitigate this risk.
Bilberries can also add visual interest to your garden with their delicate bell-shaped flowers in spring and vibrant foliage in autumn. Bilberries are smaller than their cousin, the blueberry, and have a dark, almost black hue.
Vaccinium myrtillus is a wonderful choice for UK gardeners looking to diversify their gardens while also supporting UK bee populations. With its myriad benefits and relatively straightforward care requirements, it’s a plant that offers rewards to both novice and experienced gardeners alike.