Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects

Attracting beneficial insects to your garden and yard is an efficient way to also keep unwanted pests out of your garden. Many beneficial plants ward off unwanted pests while inviting the bugs you do want around and some of those bugs will help prevent harmful pests. Our list might include some picks that will surprise you.

1) Lavender is a plant that is typically grown with minimal effort and doesn't require much space. A sunny spot with dry well-drained soil is ideal for this plant. Bees and butterflies are amongst the insects that are huge fans of this perennial (meaning it returns each year). It is often used as an ornamental shrub and as a beneficial companion plant and herb that helps repel unwanted pesky insects like mosquitoes. Additionally, it repels members of the moth family.

2) Dill is a great option to grow in gardens. It tends to spread itself around and you will then have a bunch of baby dill growing all over. Because of this, you may need to thin it out but that's a small price to pay for this plant's benefits. This herb helps to attract lacewings and ladybugs. These insects can be beneficial to gardens as ladybugs feed on plant-destroying pests like aphids. Dill is also known to attract beneficial and beautiful pollinators such as swallowtail butterflies.

3) Marigolds are an all-time favorite for home gardens and flower beds. These annuals —meaning they don't typically return each year so you'll need to replant —sport a variety of orange and yellow flowers. The bright flowers attract pollinators like bees and they attract parasitic wasps, which are natural predators of green hornworms. Since Marigolds are a flowering plant easily mixed in with vegetable beds it's a perfect and easy plant to grow. An interesting fact about them is marigold roots are toxic to root-knot nematodes, a common pest that attacks vegetables from below. So they provide pest control for above-ground and below-ground pests.

4) Coneflowers, also known as echinacea, are a great choice to provide color and are a beneficial attractor of insects such as butterflies. It's not uncommon to see butterflies touching down for a sip of nectar while these blue-purple-colored blooms are brightening up your yard. Bees are also drawn to these plants.

5) Bee Balm is in the mint family and grows easily throughout yards and gardens. It comes in many varieties and they all are great choices for attracting insects you want around. These plants don't take up too much space while sporting their colorful blooms, which are a favorite for all the beneficial pollinators such as butterflies and bees.

These are just some of the many benefits of growing certain plants to not only make your yard beautiful but also to attract beneficial insects to your garden.

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