Annual Flowers for Beneficial Insects
Alyssum ‘Carpet of Snow’ (Lobularia maritima) — Masses of tiny flowers that attract hoverflies and parasitic mini-wasps.
Basil — A popular herb with flowers that attract beneficial insects and bees. The aromatic foliage may repel aphids and tomato hornworms.
Calendula Officinalis — Edible flower petals. Attracts bees and hoverflies.
Centaurea Cyanus (Cornflower) — Good flowers for attracting beneficial insects, including bees, lacewings, ladybugs, hoverflies and parasitic wasps.
Cosmos — Flowers for lacewings, hoverflies and parasitic wasps.
Dill — This herb can be used as a trap crop for aphids. The umbel flowers attract ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies and parasitic mini-wasps.
Marigold — For bees and hoverflies. Roots produce a secretion that kills root-eating nematodes in the soil. The flower petals are edible.
Morning Glory (Ipomoea sp.) — Showy flowers attract syrphid flies and ladybugs. Grow this vigorous vine on a trellis.
Nigella (Love-in- a-Mist) — A quick-blooming, self-sowing annual. The flowers attract bees. The seeds of Nigella damascena and Nigella sativa are edible.
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum sp.) — One of the best flowers for bumblebees.
Zinnia — Brightly colored flowers that attract beneficial insects, including bees, ladybugs, hoverflies, parasitic wasps.
Perennial Flowers for Beneficial Insects
Agastache Foeniculum (Anise Hyssop) — Perennial herb with licorice-flavored leaves for tea. Spikes of blue flowers that attract beneficial insects and bees. Blooms the first year from seed.
Alyssum Saxatile ‘Basket of Gold’ — The bright yellow flowers bloom in May, providing an early food source for ladybugs and hoverflies.
Fennel — Edible leaves and seeds. One of the best flowers for attracting beneficial insects: bees, hoverflies, lacewings, ladybugs, syrphid flies, tachinid flies and parasitic wasps.
Common Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) — The flowers attract hoverflies, bees and parasitic mini wasps. The leaves and flower buds are used in recipes.
Echinacea Purpurea (Purple Coneflower) — Used in herbal medicine as an immune stimulant. The flowers attract praying mantis, bees and parasitic wasps. The seedheads attract birds.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) — A traditional herb used to treat migraine headaches. The white daisy-like flowers attract hoverflies.
Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum) — The flowers attract beneficial insects and bees. The leaves have a nice, strong garlic flavour. Allium species make good companion plants for roses because they repel aphids.
Goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis) — One of the best flowers for attracting beneficial insects in late summer to fall. Attracts assassin bugs, big-eyed bugs, bees, ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies, praying mantis and parasitic wasps.
Hesperis Matronalis (Dame’s Rocket) — The young leaves are edible. The flowers attract bees and butterflies (pollinators).
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) — The flowers attract hoverflies and bees. The fragrant foliage is used in potpourri.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) — The lemon-flavored leaves make a good tea. The tiny flowers attract tachinid flies, hoverflies and parasitic mini-wasps.
Parsley — The umbel flowers attract ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies, tachinid flies and parasitic mini wasps.
Rudbeckia Hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) — Golden-yellow, daisy-like flowers for attracting lacewings and bees.
Salvia — For bees, butterflies and hummingbirds (pollinators).
Thyme — English thyme is a kitchen herb. Creeping thyme is a perennial groundcover. The tiny flowers attract hoverflies.
Viola tricolor — Let violas self-sow wherever they like. They don’t disturb the vegetables, and the edible flowers make nice cake decorations. Attracts a variety of small beneficial insects early in the year before most other flowers bloom.