Organic gardeners dream about attracting ladybugs to their garden, and with good reason. Ladybugs are a natural pest control enjoying aphids, mites, and scale. When planning your garden there are various things to keep in mind including the amount of sun the area gets, which plants will bring bees, and which flowers attract ladybugs.
Like most animals, ladybugs are attracted to a food source. They eat two things, pests and pollen, when you have an abundance of these two things then ladybugs will happily call your garden home. The plants that attract ladybugs usually have flat blooms and are white or yellow including angelica, calendula, caraway, chives, cilantro, cosmos, dill, fennel, feverfew, marigold, limonium, sweet alyssum, and yarrow.
Although it will go against everything you know about gardening, and feel completely wrong, you need to leave the aphids and mites in your garden. The end result will be worth it when you see ladybugs happily munching on those little pests but in the meantime it will feel counterproductive. If you can’t bear to lose any of your award winning foliage, then decoy plants will be your next best option. By planting early cabbage, marigold, nasturtium (aphids’ favorite), or radish and allowing the pests to devour these plants first you can attract ladybugs without losing your favorite plants.
It seems like common sense but is often overlooked – stop using insecticide when trying to attract ladybugs. Insecticide will not only kill pests but are harmful to ladybugs as well.
When it comes to planning your ladybug garden the key thing to remember is their food source. Do you have any tried and true methods that keep ladybugs coming back year after year?