Nature continuously amazes me when it comes to her way of taking care of things. We just need to sit back and observe to see how these beautiful interactions take place and one very fascinating example may be how dragonflies make for excellent mosquito control.
There are plants which attract certain species, like bees, birds and butterflies into your garden, but did you know you could do the same to attract dragonflies? They are some of the best predators out there for controlling mosquito numbers and not only do they patrol the skies in their adulthood, but they even seek out the mosquito larvae while in their own larval form (which happens underwater).
One study found that dragonfly larvae played a significant role in the control of mosquito populations, being most effective in their larval stage, with adult dragonflies impressively eating up to 100 mosquitoes a day.
They not only assist with mosquito populations – dragonflies will eat other bugs like midges too.
10 Plants Which Will Attract Dragonflies
You will need to plant quite a diverse array of plants to attract dragonflies into your garden with trees and shrubs outlining the perimeter for younger dragonflies to seek refuge and smaller, blooming plants to attract pollinators such as butterflies, bees, moths and wasps with other smaller flying insects which dragonflies like to prey on.
Water plants which grow near to and in ponds are highly valuable and sought out by dragonflies, so if you’re willing to make a smallish pond in your garden, you will almost certainly have garden brimming with the right type of insect wildlife.
1. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
These bright yellow wildflowers are quite adaptive to most soil conditions and require full sunlight and regular watering.
2. Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Pretty white and pink flowers grace this plant and they attract quite an array of prey for dragonflies. They are perennial and require a moist, wetland area with clay soil and decent sunlight.
3. Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)
Reaching a height between 3 and 12 feet, they are perfect for dragonflies who like taller perches. These plants have a lovely vanilla scent and require partial sunlight and regular watering. The dried roots and flowers also make a very effective diuretic tea.
4. Meadow Sage (Salvia marcus)
This beautiful perennial plant has the most eye catching purple flowers. They require full sunlight, but will tolerate partial shade too. They are also pretty drought resistant.
5. White Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
This fern like plant is disease resistant and thrives in full sunlight with well drained soil. It’s super easy to grow too, so you don’t need a green thumb to get this one right!
6. Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia)
Also known as Duck Potato, these plants are colony forming and rise above water level to a height of roughly 3 feet, doubling as a suitable choice for both adult and larval dragonflies. A lot of water plants tend to bob on the water, but these can be weighted down with rocks.
7. Wild Celery (Vallisneria americana)
A tape grass which is fully submerged, growing to the water’s surface make these perfect as dragonflies will lay their eggs on the shoots. You will need at least 18 inches of water for these to grow in and direct light.
8. Water Horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile)
Both a submerged and floating plant, they are rooted into the pond floor with stems that grow above water level. Dragonfly larvae will climb these when making their way into adulthood.
9. Cattail (Typha latifolia)
Known as bull rushes, they are usually found in marshy areas. Just like horsetail, they make a great choice for both adult and larval dragonflies and grow really easily with very little effort.
10. Water Lily
One of the most beautiful water plants which float on the surface, they make great egg laying spots.
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