Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects

Best Plants to Attract Beneficial InsectsNot all insects in your garden indicate a threat. In fact, strategically including plants in your garden that attract beneficial bugs helps reduce the need to treat pest outbreaks with chemicals.

Cutting down on the amount of pesticides used in your garden can contribute to your overall success.

While such chemicals can be effective in getting rid of pests, they can also kill beneficial insects. This can create a lasting negative impact that extends for the rest of the season.

But you can help create a balance by incorporating plants in your garden that attract and support beneficial insects that keep the bad ones away or even naturally remove them.

To welcome the following helpful insects into your garden, consider planting the suggestions below:

Lacewings. These green or brown insects with large lacy wings dine on aphids, mites and insect eggs. Their larvae, shaped like small alligators, actually destroy most of the pests. They seek out dill, caraway, coriander, fennel, Queen Anne’s lace and dandelion.

Ladybugs. Most gardeners don’t take notice of ladybugs until they become adults, but it’s the young larvae that help manage harmful insects. Their eggs, yellowish in color, are usually laid in clusters on the undersides of leaves. Plants that draw ladybugs include: yarrow, dill, butterfly weed, coriander, Queen Anne’s lace, buckwheat, fennel, prairie sunflower, marigold and tansy.

Hoverflies. Also known as flower flies, these insects resemble small bees that hover and quickly fly away. They don’t sting, so don’t be alarmed. Their eggs, which are white and oval and are laid singly or in groups, hatch into small maggots that look like caterpillars. In that state, they feed on aphids and mealybugs.

In addition to plants with small flowers and lacy foliage that attract these insects, consider also perennial and annual herbs and flowering native plants that entice bumblebees, native bees and other pollinators.

When planted, bunch grasses also provide food and shelter to the larvae of ground beetles. They are helpful as predators of snails, slugs and other ground-based pests.

If you are planting your garden to accommodate helpful insects, let your garden also stand through the winter so they have a place of sanctuary during the winter.

Have more questions about creating a natural habitat for attracting beneficial bugs to your garden? Let us know by calling 800-531-4769 or visit