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Plants that Attract Beneficial Insects & Pollinators

By planting a variety of plants that beneficial insects love, you can increase the likelihood of them residing in your garden. This guide will help you choose the right plants to attract beneficial insects and pollinators for natural pest control.

Cilantro
Ladybugs on Cilantro

When beneficial insects, predators, and parasitoids choose to live and reproduce in your garden, they are ready to spring into action when pest populations climb. The best part? A diverse landscape is also beautiful. You’ll love it, too!  

Passion Flower Vine

Using Annual Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects & Pollinators for Natural Pest Control

Chamomile

Incorporating annual plants attractive to beneficial insects in your garden is a simple way to help create a balanced ecosystem. Annual plants are relatively easy to grow; many start easily from seed and are relatively inexpensive compared to perennial plants.

Best Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects & Pollinators
Echinacea

Annual Plants for Attracting Beneficial Insects & Pollinators for Natural Pest Control

This annual plant list is a great starting point for selecting plants to create a haven for beneficial insects and pollinators.

Annuals for Natural Pest Control
Annual Plants for Natural Pest Control

Allysum, Aster, Anise, Bee Balm, Buckwheat, Chamomile, Clover, Coneflower, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Daisy (Regular and Shasta), Dill, Feverfew, Goldenrod, Lovage, Mint, Oregano, Ratabida, Rudbeckia, Sunflowers, Verbena, and Yarrow

Download printable “Annuals for Natural Pest Control”

Praying mantis on feverfew
Praying mantis on feverfew


Using Perennials to Attract Beneficial Insects & Pollinators for a Balanced Ecosystem

Lavender

Perennials can provide a long-lasting way to create food and habitat in your garden. They are long-lived plants that return year after year. Although they may have more initial up-front costs, they often require less maintenance and can be a cost-effective option for gardeners in the long term.

Best Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects & Pollinators
Desert Milkweed

When selecting perennial plants for your garden, choose native plants if possible. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. This can make them more resilient and better able to support the native wildlife in your area.

Best Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects & Pollinators
Parry’s Penstemon

Perennial Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects & Pollinators in the Sonoran Desert

Passion Flower Vine
Passion Flower Vine

The best perennial plants to attract beneficial insects will vary by location. These are good choices for the low desert of Arizona or Sonoran desert areas.

Sonoran Desert Perennials for Pollinators
Sonoran Desert Perennials for Pollinators

Angelita Daisy, Baja Fairyduster, Blackfoot Daisy, Blanketflower, Chocolate Flower, Coral Vine, Creosote, Damianita Bush, Desert Lavender, Desert Marigold, Desert Milkweed, Fairy Duster, Firecracker Penstemon Mt. Lemmon Marigold, Globe Mallow, Lantana, Mealy Cup Sage, Mexican Bush Sage, Morning Glory, Parry’s Penstemon, Passion Vine, Rock Penstemon, Rock Verbena, Rosemary, Salvia, Sandpaper Verbena Shrubby Germander, Spanish Lavender, Skyflower, Tangerine Crossvine, Turpentine Bush, Woolly Butterfly Bush, Yellow Bells

Download printable “Sonoran Desert Perennials for Pollinators”

Best Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects & Pollinators
Yellow Bells

Incorporating plants from these annual and perennial plant lists that attract beneficial insects and pollinators will help promote a beautiful, healthy, diverse ecosystem in your garden.

Dill

Are you growing any of these plants, or did I miss one of your favorites? Leave a comment and let me know.

Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects & Pollinators
Coral Vine

References and Further Reading

  1. Native Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: Southwest – Sonoran Desert
  2. Desert Museum Plant List
  3. Plant Partners, Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden, Jessica Walliser.

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