• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • r ranson
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
  • Carla Burke
  • Leigh Tate
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • Mike Barkley

Perennial Pollinator/Beneficial Plants that won't spread

 
steward
Posts: 10900
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
3146
3
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello permies!  I'm trying to put together a list of potential plants to incorporate in a community garden.  Where each garden plot meets its three neighbors, I want to reserve a little space for some perennial beneficial bug plants.  

So I'd like things that obviously attract pollinators, predatory wasps or the like.  They can't cast too much shade.  They need to stay put (no mints or things that "readily self sow").  I'm in a well drained sandy site with full sun in zone 4.

So far I've found these but I don't have experience with many of them.  So if they don't fit my hopes listed above, please let me know.  And please add to the list for me.  Thanks!

Coneflower
Lavender
Columbine
Shasta daisy
Aster
Liatris (Blazing star)
Butterfly weed
Coreopsis
Penstemon
Agastache
 
Posts: 546
Location: Richwood, West Virginia
8
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's a nice write up on Lupins; apparently they fix nitrogen. The lupin border around the lake in Miss Peregrine's Home for Unusual Children has me hooked.
 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 10900
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
3146
3
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, I have lupines but wasn't sure if they'd spread too much.  I haven't had them long enough to know if they'll take over.  They tend to seed prolifically and do so however far their dried up flowers will reach.  I'm just not sure if they'll have good germination or now...  I'm open to feedback on them for sure!
 
pollinator
Posts: 406
Location: Vermont, USA
120
hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi foraging books chicken cooking medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do love lupines.  Mind are starting to take off!  I open the pods every fall and spread the seeds around.  The single plants grow larger, but the new ones show up all over.

Let's see:

Coreopsis will slowly grow and cover more territory over time.  Well-behaved about it.  Ditto aster, shasta daisy, butterfly weed, and (I think) agastache.

Columbine self-seeds, but it's SO pretty!

Liatris spreads both underground and by seed.  In year three, you'll have so many!  Share with friends!  Start a new garden!
 
Anne Pratt
pollinator
Posts: 406
Location: Vermont, USA
120
hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi foraging books chicken cooking medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh, suggestions!

Delphineum are well-behaved for me.  Better to get a smaller variety; there's a very pretty one similar to the original wildflower - Delphineum Summer Nights.

https://gracefulgardens.com/delphinium-summer-nights

Painted Daisy has also been quite conservative in my garden, but what great colors!

Primrose and gerbera daisies have never spread around for me.  Also chrysanthemums, come to think of it, and they repel pests!
 
Posts: 34
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
21
kids forest garden bee
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Consider Hyssop. I started some last year from seed (Hyssopus Officinalis, not anise hyssop)and was impressed at the long flowering period and the diversity of insects that visited it. Cold hardy as well which was important to me. The Internet says it does spread but I have not noticed any runners leave the base plant yet.
 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 10900
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
3146
3
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grew some last year Glenn and I'm curious to see if they sprout up everywhere or not.  The butterflies and bees loved them.  I'm just not sure if they self sow easily or not.  Now it's on the list
 
Posts: 18
Location: Olney, Maryland
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is such a good topic. I think you are on the right track but suggest you approach it from the whole diversity includes providing habitat and food as well as the plants that attract the pollinators. If you attract the whole range of pollinators, predators, prey and all the places they need for shelter, food water etc. you are hitting on the whole spectrum. Look https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/endangeredresources/nativeplants.html

Mike Love
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 2560
Location: Gulf of Mexico cajun zone 8
1052
cattle hugelkultur cat dog trees hunting chicken bee woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Honeybees love borage, comfrey, & buckwheat.
 
master steward
Posts: 5378
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1625
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hummingbirds love the red blossoms on Turk's cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii) and it does not spread or sow seeds that will come up all over the place.

We planted our sometime around 2014 and it is still right where we planted it.

Another thing that I love about it is that once it is established it does not require watering and I live where we have droughts most of the year.

 
Posts: 18
4
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Heather Holm is a pollinator expert who recently wrote a whole book all about wasps. She has some free plant lists on her website of natives recommended for wasps. Here's the Great Lakes region list. Some of those are spreaders, of course, but it's a good place to start for predatory insects.
 
Posts: 95
Location: Reeds Spring, MO; zone 6b Ozarks
32
homeschooling kids forest garden trees books
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To share my experience with a couple plants discussed so far: coreopsis and borage are great plants, but they do self-seed for me quite readily, if not profusely. Dead-heading and cutting back the plants after they have flowered should control them, though.
 
Posts: 2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been finding that it is important to plant native plants, you know plants native to your area. They support the wildlife that they have evolved with over time. A good information source is: https://www.nwf.org/nativeplantfinder/
They will tell you which plants and what they host. I think it is fascinating and so helpful. Happy gardening!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1881
Location: Denmark 57N
476
fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rosemary is loved by the bees and stays put 100%, but is easy to propagate should you wish to.
 
pollinator
Posts: 344
Location: Worcestershire, England
75
4
hugelkultur purity forest garden fungi trees urban bike bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fennel, sweet cicely, angelica in fact anything with an umbellifer flower is a magnet for hoverflies, lacewings etc. There is a more comprehensive list of umbellifers here https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/plants-with-umbellifer-flowers/ not sure you will want all of them like ground elder though!
 
gardener
Posts: 868
Location: N. California
300
hugelkultur kids cat dog fungi trees books chicken cooking medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lavender is wonderful, it's a well behaved plant, and mine is always covered in bees. Borage is great, bees love it, you can eat it it actually taste like cucumber, the only downside is the hairy texture. If you don't dead head it will spread everywhere.  I don't mind that, it makes for a great chop and drop.  I would add chamomile, and nasturtiums to the list.  Chamomile attracts lots of beneficial insects, and is said to repel mosquitoes.  I'm in zone 9, and mine reseed themselves every year, but stay in the bed I planted them in, it's a pretty little useful flower. Nasturtiums are a great ground cover (don't get the climbing vine kind) that not only attract bees and hummingbirds, they suppres weeds.  You can eat these as well. Mine have reseeded themselves for 3 years now, but stay in the bed I planted them in.  Good luck to you.  Looking forward to hearing what you plant. If you think about it we would love to see pictures when it's up and growing.
 
pollinator
Posts: 342
Location: New Zealand
21
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Golden rod, phacelia, carrots and parsnips left to flower in their second year, fennel.
 
pollinator
Posts: 349
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
236
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sue Rine wrote:Golden rod, phacelia, carrots and parsnips left to flower in their second year, fennel.


Goldenrod seems to be quite aggressive in my garden.
I like garden mum, great color and provide food till frost frost.
 
Posts: 14
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have Monarda that does not spread or self seed.  Also bee balm.  For me the Sashta Daisies are hell bent for world domination but the killed off every couple of years by harsh winter.  Also clove pink attracts bees, and other benificials.   I start most of my perennials from seeds.  I have several types of Calendula.  They self seed and have many garden uses so I let them go.  I only take them out of where I really don't want too many of them and transplant them else where in the garden.
 
pollinator
Posts: 591
Location: Chicago
166
dog forest garden fish foraging urban cooking food preservation bike
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some worthwhile perennials which thrive but stay put in my garden:

Native to midwest:
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), the pale flower unbels smell like vanilla!
Golden Alexander (Zizea aurea)
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Button blazing star (Liatris aspera)
Ozark bluestar (Amsonia illustrus)
Bloodroot (SAnguinaria canadensis)--one of the very earliest bloomers

Non-native pollinator favorites:
Astilbe (Astilbe chinesis)
Bigleaf ligularia (ligularia dentata)


gift
 
Rocket Mass Heater podcast gob
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic