The Best Flowers to Attract Predator Beneficial Insects to Your Garden

By on September 20, 2011

The ladybud is a favorite beneficial insect -- unless you're an aphid.

Roll out the floral carpet in your garden to attract beneficial insects and keep them there.

In our video Tricia talks about releasing predator beneficial insects into your garden as organic pest control.

To make those beneficials happy you need to have some bad bugs present for them to munch on, and also flowers they will enjoy at various stages of their lives.

Flowers & Food for Beneficial Insects

In general, beneficials like flowers that look like daisies or Queen Anne’s Lace, according to Cornell University.

Choose flowers in those families from our huge selection of open-pollinated flower and wildflower seeds and organic herb seeds.

Make your garden a great place to stay when you welcome them with our Good Bug Food, and repeat that during dry spells.

Flowering Cover Crops

We have flowering cover crops designed to make the beneficial insects say, “Yum!” and stick around.

Our special cover crop, the Good Bug Blend, has been field-proven for over a decade in large and small scale growing areas. Since the mix blooms nearly year-round, Good Bug Blend should be planted in areas which can go a little wild, such as field borders, ditch banks, and fence rows. Typically, you need to plant only 1% to 5% of your land with this mix for good results.

We also created a mix that will grow only 2 feet tall (perfect to tuck under trees or grape vines, or in the home garden)—our Low-Growing Good Bug Blend.

Both mixes are full of clovers, wild carrots, sweet alyssum, yarrow, and parsley—attracting our admiring eyes along with the beneficial insects.

What Ladybugs Like

We have ladybugs to release in your garden. Put up a Ladybug House to make them comfortable.

Their favorite flowers include alyssum, buckwheat, coriander, dill, fennel, Rocky Mountain penstemon, Queen Anne’s Lace, sunflowers, and common yarrow.

Where Mantids Pray

Expand your Praying Mantid population with one of our cases of egg sacs. Mantids will hover in some cover, waiting for their prey to wander by. The drawback to praying mantids? They will eat any bug, whether it’s one we think is “good” or “bad”. So don’t put the egg case in your butterfly garden or near your bee hives.

The plants that mantids prefer are any with bugs on them, or plants with green stalks and leaves that will serve as cover.

What Green Lacewings Love

The sparkly and decorative green lacewings enjoy many of the same flowers as the ladybugs.

Their menu list includes angelica, caraway, coriander, cosmos, dill, fennel, Queen Anne’s Lace, and sunflowers.

Books About Good & Bad Bugs

This is a crucial topic for organic gardeners and farmers, so we bring you as much information as we can. We have a whole category of books on Pest Management.

*  Favorites are the handy Landscape Pests ID Cards to carry outdoors or the Good Garden Bugs book.

*  Want a big, fat (but well-priced) book on good bugs and bad bugs? Lots of great photos of bugs at all stages in Garden Insects of North America.

*  Prefer just one book on both pests and diseases? Try Rodale’s The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control.

*  Sacramento area gardeners know Farmer Fred and his popular radio shows on gardening. Farmer Fred lectures on beneficial insects and has lists of attracting plants on his blog.

Grow plants for predator beneficial insects and enjoy a flowery, balanced garden.

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