Organic Gardening

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Do You Grow Flowers to Attract Beneficial Insects?

7/29/2009 8:37:00 PM

Tags: beneficial insects, question to readers

Many organic gardeners grow a variety of flowers to provide nectar and pollen for the many beneficial insects that help prevent any serious pest outbreaks. What are your favorite flowers that feed the good bugs? Please tell us by posting a comment below.


Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years. Connect with her on .



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Post a comment below.

 

natalie peterson_1
9/29/2009 8:37:05 PM
I plant hyssops and the bees go wild for them. I have seen bumblebees and honeybees covering these beautiful plants. They get quite large, I planted mine last year and they are already 4-5 feet tall. While I see bees on alot of my flowers I would have to say I see the most bees on my hysspos,liatris,salvia,russian sage,catmint and sedum. The butterflies of course go for the butterfly shrubs but they also seem to like the sedum and the hibscus.

natalie peterson_2
9/29/2009 8:36:40 PM
I plant hyssops and the bees go wild for them. I have seen bumblebees and honeybees covering these beautiful plants. They get quite large, I planted mine last year and they are already 4-5 feet tall. While I see bees on alot of my flowers I would have to say I see the most bees on my hysspos,liatris,salvia,russian sage,catmint and sedum. The butterflies of course go for the butterfly shrubs but they also seem to like the sedum and the hibscus.

Gabriel
8/3/2009 12:36:50 AM
I'm growing a whole mess o' sunflowers and let some broccoli and radishes flower and go to seed--honeybees love them! Thanks for the tip about 4 o'clocks, Elise, I'm going to research them because the Japanese beetles were atrocious this year!

Lee the Permie
8/2/2009 7:37:19 PM
I live in Las Vegas, N.M., zone 5. I have planted a variety of insectary plants, including dill, three varieties of hyssop (alcopulco purple, Korean mint and Black Adder,) moonshine yarrow, and Paprika yarrow. The first garden plants to bloom each spring, though, are my thymes and my rosemary (Arp, the most cold-hardy.) The bees love them. And predatory wasps seem to really love the dill.

The Herbangardener
8/1/2009 11:25:26 PM
I let Queen Anne's Lace (wild carrot) grow in my garden paths between the raised beds. The beneficials LOVE it--more so than other flowers I've tried. I also let my chives bloom, which attracts beneficial bugs in the spring before other flowers are blooming. The bees especially like the chives. The Herbangardener www.herbangardener.com

Elise_1
7/31/2009 5:04:22 PM
I grow perennial chamomile, calendula, four o'clocks (which are reputed to be toxic to japanese beetles), white clover, thyme, marigolds, bee balm, lavender, asters, yarrow to attract beneficials. I also have a lot of narrow-lear plantain in the yard. When I don't mow it, the flower stalks attract a lot of bees of all types.







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