The Biggest and Best Insectary Plant List in North America
This chart provides guidelines to the blooming cycles of various insect-attracting plants - often referred to as "insectary" plants. (The term "insectary," which previously only meant a laboratory for the study of live insects, has been adopted among horticulturists as an adjective to describe plants that attract beneficial insects.)
The bloom cycle of 191 plants is presented.
13 beneficial insects are listed.
117 plants have notations of which of the 13 beneficial insects the flower attracts.
There are 30 full citations for further reading.
It will also inform you on how to choose the best plants to lure beneficial insects outside of the window of midsummer bloom. Because so many beneficial plants bloom in midsummer, that time of year is a banquet of blossom for helpful bugs. Since pests don’t magically disappear in the spring and fall, this chart will help you choose the plants that will bloom in your garden during the “in-between” seasons.
Most of the bloom periods came from www.Calflora.org which is, as would be expected, Californiacentric. Some are from the Missouri Botanic Garden database. With careful observation, you will see how your garden blooms react to the seasons and "slide" the bloom-period bar on the chart toward Spring or Fall.
You will receive:
• A PDF document of the guidelines and citations, and
• A PDF of an Excel spreadsheet of the 191 plants and beneficial-insect visitations. (Use Excel version 14.7.1 or newer)
(Note: This is the product of 200-400 hours of work over three years by myself and Damien McAnany. This final set represents a tremendous amount of condensed information.)
To purchase downloads:
Click in the purple box below to pay through Paypal. Once you've paid, download links will appear at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
Please feel free to leave a comment
I've heard of people deeper into urban areas around here that haven't been able to get things like beans or squash because they didn't have the pollinators. The problem was big enough that our localcity added clover to what had been a pure grass lawn around the community gardens. They also made many arrangements to plant more flowering trees and shrubs.
I've made a conscious effort to add more flowering plants and cultivate my weeds so that I have a full 12 months of blooms. I have very reliable pollination. I wish I'd had this available when I started, it would have put me years ahead in developing the full bloom cycle.