Friday, April 8, 2011

April Product Spotlight: Flowers and Herbs to Attract Beneficial Insects

Herbs and Flowers to Attract Bees and Other Beneficial Insects

Many insects are important allies in the field and garden. Bees and other pollinating insects increase yields in many fruiting crops. Beneficial insects keep pest species under control. Although pollinators and beneficials are present naturally, it doesn’t hurt to attract them to the places where their services are most helpful. Flowers that provide nectar and pollen can be grown on field edges, in strips, and scattered among vegetable crops. Here are some of the best varieties to use in insectary plantings:

Anise Hyssop is a great bee attractor. Additionally, its very aromatic leaves and flowers can be used fresh or dried in salads and teas. It has a sweet licorice-mint flavor

Red Shades

Panorama Mix and Panorama Red Shades are perennial Bee Balms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds as well as bees.
Panorama mix contains a variety of eye-catching colors, and the semi-double blooms are edible as well as having medicinal properties.
Panorama Red Shades is a showy garden performer and excellent flower producer with low susceptibility to powdery mildew.
Our new Miss Butterfly (Butterfly Bush) is an attractive ornamental shrub in the landscape. It is a tender perennial (in Zones 6-10), and produces long spikes of tiny violet flowers with orange eyes that are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Easy to grow from seed, it is heat and drought tolerant.
Johnny’s Beneficial Insect Attractant Mix contains a combination of perennial and annual varieties to attract a diverse group of beneficial insects. Mix includes: Yarrow, Ammi, Golden Tuft, Dill, Cilantro, Cosmos, Buckwheat, Lemon Balm, Hairy Vetch, Sweet Alyssum, Mizuna, Lacy Phacelia, Basil, and several Clovers.

1 comment:

Herbiecott said...

I love Anise Hyssop, but it suffers in our mid-summer heat and humidity here in South Central Texas. I'm trying Lemon Hyssop this year. So far the seedlings are very vigorous. Just put some in the ground yesterday.