How to Attract Ladybugs: Plant and Garden Tips!

July 01, 2024 4 min read

How to Attract Ladybugs: Plant and Garden Tips!

Unlock the secret to a thriving and healthy garden! Ladybugs are not just charming visitors; they are nature's tiny superheroes, wielding incredible pest-control powers that can transform your garden into a thriving ecosystem. In this article, we delve into the simple yet effective methods to attract these delightful beetles into your garden, ensuring a natural balance and beautiful flowers. Discover the magic of ladybugs and watch as they work wonders in safeguarding your plants!

What Attracts Ladybugs?

  • Aphids
  • Pollen
  • Nectar
  • Sources of fresh water
  • Spaces or enclosures where they can overwinter

Ladybugs primarily feed on soft-bodied insects, with aphids being one of their favorite meals. This preference likely evolved due to the high abundance of aphids in many environments and their relatively easy-to-catch nature. Aphids produce a sugary substance called "honeydew", which ladybugs find delicious! Not only do aphids provide a readily available food source for ladybugs, but they also offer a reproductive advantage. Female ladybugs require protein-rich food sources like aphids to produce healthy eggs. Therefore, abundant aphid populations can contribute to increased ladybug reproduction rates, further enhancing their effectiveness as natural pest controllers.

Ladybugs also will consume pollen as a food source, along with most small soft-bodied insects attracted to the pollen. Ladybugs also love to feed on nectar from flowers as they have specialized "sucking' mouthparts that are perfect for grabbing a drink! Like most animals, ladybugs need water to survive, so they will also seek out sources of fresh water. Finally, ladybugs are attracted to dark, quiet spaces where they can safely overwinter.

20 Plants That Attract Ladybugs

  1. Dill
  2. Yarrow
  3. Fennel
  4. Cilantro
  5. Calendula
  6. Sweet Alyssum
  7. Marigold
  8. Feverfew
  9. Garlic
  10. Parsley
  11. Chives
  12. Milkweed
  13. Sunflowers
  14. Geraniums
  15. Caraway
  16. Dandelions
  17. Cosmos
  18. Nasturtium
  19. Angelica
  20. Butterfly Weed

Ladybugs love feeding on the above 20 plants! Umbelliferous plants like Dill, fennel, and cilantro produce small, clustered flowers that provide abundant pollen and nectar. Additionally, the dense foliage of these plants offers shelter for ladybugs and their eggs. Composite flowers such as daisies, sunflowers, and yarrow produce large, flat flower heads with numerous small florets. These flowers provide ample surface area for landing and feeding for ladybugs. Both types also attract a diverse range of insects, including aphids, thrips, and beetles, which serve as prey for ladybugs.

Tips to Keep Ladybugs in your Garden

  • Maintain healthy pollen and nectar-rich plants, flowers, and herbs in your garden
  • Use decoy plants to attract aphids for ladybugs
  • Keep your garden pesticide free
  • Provide multiple sources of fresh water
  • Create a space or enclosure where ladybugs to overwinter

You don't want to just attract ladybugs to your garden: you'll want to keep them there, too! Create an environment for a full-time residence. Maintaining a healthy garden is crucial for several reasons that benefit both people and the environment. Firstly, gardens provide a habitat for a diverse range of plants, insects, birds, and other wildlife, contributing to biodiversity and supporting local ecosystems. A healthy garden with a variety of native plants can attract beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies, which are essential for pollinating crops and wildflowers alike. This, in turn, helps ensure abundant harvests in vegetable gardens and promotes the growth of flowers that beautify outdoor spaces.

Additionally, gardens contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing carbon dioxide levels and mitigating climate change. Plants absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, helping to purify the air and improve overall air quality. Moreover, gardens can help manage water runoff, reduce erosion, and create cooler microclimates in urban areas, which is especially important during hot summers.

Using decoy plants to attract aphids can be beneficial in several ways. By drawing aphids away from main crops or valuable plants, decoy plants help protect these primary crops from aphid damage. This strategy reduces the need for pesticides and promotes natural pest control methods, as predatory insects that feed on aphids are attracted to the decoy plants instead. Additionally, decoy plants serve as sacrificial hosts, allowing beneficial insects to thrive and establish populations that can effectively manage aphid populations over time. Overall, using decoy plants is an environmentally friendly and sustainable approach to pest management in gardens and agricultural settings.

Avoiding pesticides is important for several reasons, particularly in maintaining the health of ecosystems, human health, and sustainable agriculture. Pesticides, while effective at controlling pests, can have unintended consequences. They can harm beneficial insects like pollinators and natural predators of pests, disrupting ecological balance and reducing biodiversity. This disruption can lead to increased pest resistance over time, requiring stronger or more frequent pesticide applications that further impact the environment.

Keeping your garden pesticide-free also ensures that you have a safe fresh water source which is integral for the health of your garden and bugs. Leave some dead leaves and logs nearby so they have a safe spot to overwinter as well! 

Releasing Ladybugs into Your Garden

To buy ladybugs, ensure timely delivery during active pest seasons like spring or early summer, and release them in your garden during cooler parts of the day for optimal effectiveness. Monitor their impact and provide suitable habitat to encourage their establishment.

Release ladybugs early in the morning or late in the afternoon when temperatures are cooler and humidity is higher. This helps prevent them from flying away immediately and encourages them to settle in your garden.

Choose a day that is calm and not windy. Wind can disperse ladybugs away from your garden before they have a chance to establish themselves.

Distribute ladybugs evenly throughout your garden, focusing on areas where pests like aphids are present. Place them near plants infested with pests for immediate access to food.

Ladybugs need water and shelter. Ensure your garden has moist areas or provide shallow water sources like small dishes with wet sand or pebbles. Dense foliage, mulch, or rock piles can offer shelter and encourage ladybugs to stay. 


Explore Ladybug Metamorphosis with Insect Lore

Love ladybugs? Visit us today at!

Registering for an account has many benefits:

  • Exclusive Special Offers
  • A smooth shopping experience
  • Quick and easy quote generation
  • Fast order processing
  • You choose your ship date
  • Convenient order tracking
  • Access to past order history
  • Better Customer Service!

Have an account? Login

An email has been sent requesting confirming your account.

Visit My Account for your orders status(es) or start shopping.

Tax Exempt Customers

An email has been sent requesting confirming your account.