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Rogue11
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Insect attracting Perennials

I am trying to ad some plants to attract /keep beneficial insects in the garden.

After reading some articles and a bit of googling I have English Lavender, Fernleaf Yarrow, Plumago and Golden Marquerite (is that a perennial?) on my list. Any other suggestions?

Part of the garden, around a small man-made pond, is more like a rock garden. I am also looking for something I can plant there, preferable also plants that will attract beneficial insects.

Thanks.

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applestar
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Have you looked in this thread? You may get some ideas from there.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=335

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Rogue11
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Marlingardener wrote:Our honeybees love borage and culinary sage blossoms. Tey also like cosmos.
Do you have any specific insects you want to attract?
Bees and Ladybugs and pretty much everything else. The only ones that are found in my garden now are praying mantes.

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Rogue11
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applestar wrote:Have you looked in this thread? You may get some ideas from there.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=335
Thanks. That's a great list.

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applestar
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Let us know what you end up planting. 8)

Matthew.Carman
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I have alot of plants that attract the many types of butterflies and bees and even the hummingbirds.

Last year I had bees on my Hosta and my butterfly bush had bees, butterflies and even a green hummingbird. My Rose of Sharons atracted alot of bumble bees which do pollinate stuff. If you want more bees to your garden try Mason Bees. They require little care and do more polinating then a honeybee. The nest and bees is cheap ($30-$40) and they will reproduce every year. I know of a mail order site that sells them if your interested. To create a good insect garden you need plants that produce food and plants that act as hosts to butterflies.

For my main garden I have a trellis and a raised bed. It's on a south facing slope which is great for butterflies who need the sun to warm thier wings and fly.

Clematis: I have 4 of these plants to grow up the trellis. I have prune group 2 so I don't have to prune them and they can liver over 50 years. Clematis atract hummingbirds.

Columbine: I added columbine behind the Clematis vines because they like partial shade and they atract hummingbirds. They look pretty to.

Butterflybush: In this raised bed is a butterfly bush. It's a minature bush so it dn't get big. It atracts bees and lot's of tiny butterflies. It is late to come up. June is when they usually come up.

Coneflower: I have alot of these because the butterflies love them for food and last year I had cattipilars on them.

Host plants: I have a Joe Pye Weed. It's late to come up but it serves as a host plant for butterfly larvae including the cabbage butterfly. I also have a Butterfly weed because it serves as a host plant for Monarchs. Both have pretty flowers.

Bee plants: I planted Thymus in the raised bed as a ground cover and to feed the bees. Thymus has pretty flowers too. I also have a Autum Fire Stonecrop Seedum in the raised bed. The one on the side of my house bloomed in the fall last year and was covered with bumble bees. In the back yard I have a row of Rose of Sharons which bumble bees and honey bees love and a butter fly bush which atracts birds, bees and butterflies.

On the east side of my house where there is partial shade I have a Pulmonario plant that has pretty flowers and blooms in April but I don't know if the bees like it. I do have Columbines and Bleeding hearts which atract bees and hummingbirds. My bollywood azalea likes partial shade and atracts butterflies.

Nasturtium: I used Nasturtium in a partial shade area last year and it grew out of controll. It was in the shade and I noticed cabbage butterflies liked it alot. Not for it flowers but for it's leaves. Maybe it's a host plant. Nastutiums like full sun and are edible but they are an annual. I grow mine from store bought seeds and they seem to germinate like crazy.

Blazing Star: Liatris is great for butterflies. Blazing stars always have monarchs atracted to them.

Clethra: This shrub atracted bumble bees last year. Agastache and Salvia also atract bees.

Monarda: This plant atracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and it looks pretty.

White Clover: This could be considred a weed because it is mixed in with grass seed sometimes and out competes other plants but I had a yard once with this flower and the honey bees loved it. The flowers are small but like dandylions are numerous.

My last advice is to have a way for butterflies to get a drink. They need something to land on. If you have a pond the butterflies can't land on the water or they will drown. This is why butterflies like sandy or muddy puddles. They can land on the sand and drink it from the side. Some butterflies also are atracted to rotting fruit and some are atracted to trees that act as host plants. Have fun with your garden.
There can be miracles when you believe - Prince of Egypt.

Can you risk everything for the chance of being alone? -Never let go, Bryan Adams.

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rainbowgardener
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Here's a nice website about it:

https://www.farmerfred.com/plants_that_attract_benefi.html

I don't see agastache/ anise hyssop or lavender hyssop on any of the list, but in my yard it is great for attracting bees and butterflies, ladybugs and hummingbirds. And it is great for making teas from!
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Runningtrails
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My red monarda attracts a lot of hummingbirds. They like red flowers.

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rainbowgardener
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Yes, I was surprised to see clematis mentioned as a hummingbird flower. I can't say they wouldn't ever come to it, but it is certainly not the kind of red trumpet shaped flower they generally prefer. Good examples are the bee balm, salvia, cardinal climber, trumpet honeysuckle, trumpet creeper, etc.

But the OP asked about plants to attract insects. My spiderwort (tradescantia) is in full bloom right now. I was out looking at it and discovered that it was covered in honeybees. There must have been six of them working the plant, going from blossom to blossom. I didn't even know they liked it, but it seemed to be a major attractant for them, since there's lots else blooming in my yard right now, that they were choosing the spiderwort over
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Stormshadow
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I had excellent luck this year with attracting bees by planting both lavender (english), and tomatillos. They love both plants tremendously.

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hendi_alex
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If in California, I would definitely try some of the many salvias. They are marginal here in zone 8 and generally get killed when the winter temperatures dip down into the mid twenties or lower. Also there are many kinds of godenrod that give quite a show. I love them for their late summer bloom in my native perennial garden.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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buzzcut
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if you are looking to attract monarch butterflies, it's hard to beat liatris prairie blazingstar. it will attract bees and birds also.

a great bee plant (not to mention the amber yellow fall color), if you would be interested in a low growing, cascading type plant (fairly large, 18" and 6'-8' wide) would be rhus trilobata 'autumn amber'.

i have actually been looking for both of these plants (no luck so far).

i have noticed both my yellow and orange butterfly weed have attracted many insects (especially bees---along with some monarchs). i know last year my yellow plant was almost devoured by monarch catapillars!!! i counted no less than 8 on the plant.

joe-pye-weed is great also. altho, not sure how well it would do in your environment. they do like moisture. i see i have a couple of 'volunteer' plants by mine---not sure if they come true from seed, tho. just sayin' ;)

CharlieBear
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For attacting bees in the early spring flowering currant, they love it (anything in the ribes family will also work). Also hummingbirds and bees go gaga over pineapple sage for latter in the fall as well as asters as there are precious few flowers for them in the fall. Those are some I didn't see mentioned.

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