One of the best ways to keep your garden pollinated and to deter unwanted pests is to invite beneficial insects.
Invite good bugs with a buffet of colorful flowers that they can help pollinate. It will also attract other good insects, who will make a meal of pests.
1. Butterflies. The beauty of butterflies is captivating in a garden. Make sure these pollinators stay well-fed with aster, bee balm, butterfly bush, lavender, purple coneflower, zinnia and more. Better yet, plant a butterfly bed.
2. Lacewings. Adults and larvae of lacewings feed on aphids, whitefly larvae, mites and more. Lacewings can eat soft-bodied insects fast and are sometimes referred to as the “aphid lions” due to their ferocious appetites. Invite them to your garden with fern-leaf yarrow and dill.
3. Ladybugs. Among the best goodwill ambassadors for your garden is the ladybug. Ladybugs make pest management so much easier because they do the work for you. Plant chives, cilantro, dill, cosmos, marigold and yarrow and ladybugs will start to show up.
4. Native bees. You can’t have too many native bees in your garden. These important pollinators help keep your garden blooming strong. To encourage them into your garden, plant brightly colored, single-petal flowers such as coneflower and daisies, as well as flowering vegetables such as squash and tomatoes.
5. Dragonflies. When you invite dragonflies, they’ll help cut down on the mosquito population and take care of some aphids for you, too. Attract dragonflies by planting a rain garden under your rain chain.
Find out more about other pests you’ll want to keep out of your garden.