Plants for Beneficial Insects
It might seem a bit corny to say,"Feed them and they will come" - but consider this: feed them and they WILL come! (We are speaking of beneficial insects - very much wanted guests in the garden.)
For those of us who desire to set an enticing table for the good bugs perhaps the most important aspect of the planning is to plant so that something is always in bloom and is always a foliage, pollen or nectar source for the insects.
The much respected eco-magazine, Mother Earth News published a list of 19 plants that beneficial insects are drawn to. The list which follows includes the bloom time. (If some are unfamiliar Google images to see them).
Sweet alyssum (annual)... blooms spring through frost
Hairy vetch (annual)...spring to summer depending on seeding time
Angelica (perennial)...late spring
Common garden sage...late spring to early summer
Orange stonecrop (perennial - pictured below)...late spring to early summer
Thyme (perennial)...late spring to early summer
Catmint (perennial)...late spring to midsummer
Buckwheat (annual pictured below)...three weeks after planting; continues up to 10 weeks
Shasta daisy (perennial)...summer
Coreopsis (perennial)...summer to fall
Cilantro (annual) summer to fall if reseeded
Cosmos (annual)...summer to fall
Oregano (perennial)...summer to fall
Yarrows, common and fern-leaf (perennial)... summer to fall
Goldenrod (perennial)...late summer to fall
Asters (perennial)...late summer to fall
So here's the plan: any garden can have room for several of the spring-blooming plants, a couple of the summer bloomers and space for some of the lovely and enticing (to insects) fall bloomers. There! You have done it! You have set a table in the garden for beneficial insects. Your garden will love you for it.