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Cosmos are beneficial insectaries for bees and other pollinators.

YouTube: Beneficial Insectaries

Our latest YouTube video gives you the what, how, and why you should grow beneficial insectaries, that is, plants that attract beneficial insects to the garden. Get a behind the scenes look at Gardenerd HQ and all the crazy flowers going gangbusters right now.

Every year we spy good bugs like ladybugs, lacewings, parasitic wasps and more come to our garden in search of habitat plants like the kinds listed below. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can grow some of these plants to improve your garden ecosystem.

Beneficial Insectaries – Nature’s Pest Control

Watch the video on YouTube here. Or click below.

What beneficial insectaries to grow?

In the video, you’ll find images of the following:

  • California Poppies
  • Nasturtiums
  • Calendula
  • Phacelia
  • Nigella – Love-in-a-Mist
  • Borage
  • Umbel flowers – parsley, cilantro, dill, fennel, celery, alyssum, yarrow and more.
cilantro calendula
Cilantro flowers are umbels – which attract beneficial insects to the garden. The Test Garden is full of them right now.

Start with Natives

Contact your local native plant society to find out which natives attract bees and other pollinators in your area. Then add these plants to keep pests at bay. Together they’ll work to balance good bugs with bad bugs and you won’t need bug spray.

Nasturtiums…plant them once, enjoy them forever.


Find more information about beneficial insectaries in this Gardenerd Gazette (scroll down for the list).

Other plants to include can be found here.

Cosmos are beneficial insectaries for bees and other pollinators.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Pingback: Podcast: Thriving with Justin West - DEV Gardenerd - For testing

  2. What specifically will attract ladybugs? And what was the other aphid fighter you mentioned in the video? Is there anything I can grow that will repel ants?

    1. Christy

      All of the flowers listed in the blog post will attract ladybugs. And the other aphid fighter mentioned was the parasitic wasp, but I also mentioned lacewings. Pirate bugs, hoverflies, and gall midges also eat aphids. All the umbels listed in the blog post will draw them to the garden as well. I don’t know of any plant that specifically repels ants. I usually put out Terro bait ant traps to reduce the population if they are farming aphids in a bed. Otherwise I leave them alone.

      1. Tracy

        Thank you! Awesome information.

  3. Brent Mitchell

    Great video! Are bluebonnets in this category? I never know when to cut them down. They get wilted and I see the seed pouches, but don’t know the right time to cut to make sure they spread. Would love your advice! 🙂

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