Attracting Ladybugs to Your Vegetable Garden
Attracting ladybugs to your vegetable garden is a very good thing. They provide wonderful, natural, pest control – eating 50 or more aphids each day (per ladybug!). Ladybugs also like to dine on white flies, scales and mealy bugs not to mention the eggs of many garden pests. In an organic garden, ladybugs are treasured soldiers in the fight against garden pests.
But attracting ladybugs isn’t always as easy and just planting your veggies and hoping they come. No, ladybugs could use some enticement to make their way to your garden. So I have 10 plants that you can add to your vegetable garden to attract ladybugs and encourage them to stay.
In the past I have purchased ladybugs but could not find a means to keep them in my yard. It was very frustrating to spend money on these dainty aphid killers only to have the fly off shortly after their release. I have found that these plants are not only good at attracting ladybugs native to your area, they’ll help any that you buy to stick around.
- Cilantro Not only is cilantro one of my salsa must-haves, ladybugs LOVE it.
- Dill A wonderful culinary herb and ladybug favorite. Dill will also help keep hornworms away so that’s a win-win!
- Calendula I love Calendula’s medicinal properties but ladybugs are drawn to it as well. Also called potted Marigolds, Calendula will attract ladybugs but repel many other garden pests.
- Dandelions You don’t even have to plant this ladybug favorite in many yards. Dandelions have so many benefits, it is a shame to pull them out. And ladybugs love them so they’ll help to bring them in to your garden in addition to their many other possible tasks. BTW – bees love them too!
- Garlic In its flower state, garlic is very enticing to ladybugs and many other beneficial insects. While repelling mosquitoes and flies.
- Geraniums Not only a lovely flower to look at the geranium, they smell great and contain medicinal benefits as well. Geraniums will add beauty to your yard and ladybugs to your garden.
- Parsley Another fantastic herb for your kitchen, and ladybug lover. And parsley is easy to grow in your garden or pots.
- Fennel Beautiful to look upon and a tasty cooking additive, fennel works at attracting ladybugs as well.
- Sunflowers Several varieties of sunflowers do a great job at attracting ladybugs. Check out the Mexican Sunflower or the Maximilian Sunflower for starters; but really any sunflower can do the job.
- Buckwheat Buckwheat can benefit your garden and homestead in many ways (like improving soil) and one is particular is attracting ladybugs.
It should be noted that before you consider attracting ladybugs to your garden you should be practicing organic gardening methods. Because if you have no bugs because you’re using pesticides, ladybugs won’t have anything to eat and all the attraction in the world won’t keep them in your garden. I won’t get on my soapbox and list the hundred other reasons to give up pesticides but will sum it up as saying – bad, bad for you, bad for the food you’re growing and bad for the beneficial insects that help our gardens grow.