Plants

Insectary Plants
There are many ways we can use plants in the garden to aid in our quest to produce the best vegetables we could possibly eat. By making use of their beneficial qualities, we can improve the soil and plants around them, and hopefully reduce the need for insecticides.

Insectary plants are those plants that have some important interaction with insects, whether it is to attract beneficial insects or to repel pests.

Following is a list of plants you can use to attract insects listed by beneficial or pest
Chamomile flowers

Attracting beneficials

Assassin bugs

Alfalfa / Carrot / Oleander

Aphidius wasps

Artemisia (daisy family) / Artichoke / Aster / Calendulars / Chickory / Chrysanthemum / Dandelion / Endive / Feverfew / Lettuce / Tansy / Marigolds / Salsify / Sunflowers / Yarrow / Lupin

Aphidoletes fly

Lupin

Bees

Particularly like Lavender / Fennel / Lemon balm / Basil / Coriander / Thyme / Borage

Big-eyed bug

Alfalfa / Carrot / Oleander

Damsel bug

Fennel / Caraway / White cosmos / Alfalfa / Spearmint / Lemon marigold

Damsel fly

Australian natives and other flowering plants that attract nectar-feeding prey.
Water features and ponds provide breeding grounds.

Dragon fly

Australian natives and other flowering plants that attract nectar-feeding prey.
Water features and ponds provide breeding grounds

Dicyphus

Mullein / Foxglove

Hoverflies

Alyssum / Lavender / Statice / Lupin / Nasturtiums / Pincushion / Queen Anne’s lace / Thyme / Zinnia / Parsley

Lacewings

Angelica / Carrot / Oleander / Cosmos / Tansy / Queen Ann’s lace / Daisy / Family / Dill / Fennel / Alyssum

Ladybeetles

Alfalfa / Angelica / Marigold / Oleander / Yarrow / Queen Ann’s lace / Tansy / Dwarf marigold / Dill / Fennel

Minute pirate bug

Alfalfa / Carrot / Oleander / Shasta daisy / Sunflower

Mites (beneficial)

Shasta daisy / Sunflower

Praying mantis

Cosmos / Raspberries and other brambles

Tachinid flies

Buckwheat / Coriander / White clover / Lemon balm / Parsley

Wasps (parasitic)

Alfalfa / Angelica / Carrot / Fennel / Oleander / Rue / White clover / Yarrow / Rose geranium / Lemon balm / Statice (everlasting paper flowers) / Parsley / Pincushion / Queen Ann’s lace / Sunflowers

Deterring pests

Ants

Pennyroyal / Southernwood / Mugwort / Sagebush / Wormwood / Tarragon / Chrysanthemums / Catnip / Lad’s love / Mint (mixed with parsley, dried or fresh) / Spearmint / Tansy / Plecanthrus (tropical coleus)

Aphids

Nasturtium / Alliums (onion family) / Parsley / Mint

Butterflies and moths

Sage / Rosemary / Hyssop / Thyme / Dill / Southernwood / Mint / Chamomile
Land cress (Barbarea vulgaris), belonging to the mustard family, can be planted near brassicas as a ‘trap and kill’ plant. Moths and butterflies are attracted to this plant, favouring it over brassicas, and lay their eggs on it. When the larvae hatch and begin to eat it they will actually be poisoned and die.  
Also known as winter rocket, bittercress, herb Barbara, and upland cress.

Cut worms

Tansy:

  • plant near susceptible crops
  • when planting new seedlings, bruise a few shoots and leaves and strew around, or squeeze juice and smear on the stems of the new plants

Eelworms or nematodes

Marigolds / Mustard plants / Chrysanthemum (especially dahlia)

Flies

Basil – White fly/ House fly/ Fruit fly (especially around tomatoes)
Chives – Carrot fly
Daisy family including mugwort, sagebush, wormwood, tarragon, southernwood: break off branches and strew around the garden – White fly/ Carrot fly

Mice

Artemisias / Spearmint / Peppermint
- Daisy family including mugwort, sagebush, wormwood, tarragon, southernwood: break off branches and strew around the garden

Thrips

Less likely to attack plants growing near pyrethrum