Plants that attract beneficial insects

teka2rjleffel(z10FL)March 10, 2010

I've gradually become a convert to organics. I wish I could say it's because I'm a good person. It is because my roses and many of my other plants really respond better to organic fertilizer. This summer since my roses are icky in the heat of summer due to thrips I'm going to try to use only organic fungicides and pesticides (if at all) and try to attract the good guy insects and birds. I have recently had an infestation of aphids, something that isn't usually a problem here and have noticed little birds and small wasps eating them. I'm hoping that they stay. What plants do you have that attract the good guys especially if you have thrip problems. Thanks so much.


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Others will no doubt give better advice but I use sunflowers and nasturtiums to lure aphids and beetles away from my other plants. The predatory insects usually just find their way to the buffet at that point. Last year I used mint and chamomile because their said to attract predatory wasps. This year I'll add Dill and parsley, said to accomplish the same along with hoverflies.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:11AM
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I could probably give you a list a mile long but the easiest and best thing to do for you is to simply do a Google search using "beneficial insects" or "companion plantings" and spend as much time as you want reading. I just did another short search yesterday and one site I read is this one. Scroll down to the bottom list.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 3:00PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Here's what works well here in coastal St. Pete: when my dill, fennel, & Asian mustards/cabbages flower & go to seed,they attract lots of aphids, & the ladybugs, hoverflies & lacewings soon follow & lay their eggs. IMPE, a plant w/ multitudes of aphids is a must to feed all those hungry larvae.

Another that seems a good 'nursery' plant for those beneficials is the orange milkweed that everyone grows for the Monarch butterflies.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:57AM
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According to Sally Scalera at UF , herbs allowed to flower are big insect attractors .
Examples are dill , coriander , basil , fennel , garlic chives, yarrow and many others listed in this link .

Dr. Russ Mizelle feels that the crape myrtle is the most important woody plant for attracting insects .
Aphids specific to crapes draw 13 different species of beneficial predatory insects .

Here is a link that might be useful: Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 1:15PM
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