Why do you need to know how to attract dragonflies to your yard? One obvious reason: they are beautiful. Dragonflies are graceful flying creatures with amazing aerodynamic skill. They make your yard or garden look alive. Aside from the visual attraction, dragonflies offer various benefits for your plants. Luckily, dragonflies are easy to attract with various natural methods.
Here is everything you need to know about attracting dragonflies to visit your yard or garden.
Why Attracting Dragonflies?
Gardeners and homeowners love dragonflies because they are natural pest control. Benefits of attracting dragonflies include keeping the mosquito population in check and protecting your plants from pests. Dragonflies are indiscriminate, and they will eat any bugs they could find.
Dragonflies are safe to have in your yard or garden. They do not sting or bite, and they consume bugs as many as their body weights. About 90 percent of their diets consist of such bugs so that you can save money on a bug zapper. They are also common and can also avoid predators like birds and frogs quite easily, so their numbers will stay abundant.
Having dragonflies in your outdoor areas will also create great visual charms, especially if you love rustic landscapes. Some dragonflies are famous for having beautiful colorings and markings. Varieties like Beautiful Demoiselle, Scarlet Dwarf, Ebony Jewelwing, and Flame Skimmer will improve any garden or outdoor landscape.
Methods to Attract Dragonflies
So, how to attract dragonflies to your garden? Here are several methods you can try.
1. Build Pond
Dragonflies need water as a breeding place, so make sure you have a proper pond. The recommended minimum size is 20 feet (around six meters) in diameter and two feet (around 60 cm) in depth. Make sure the side of the pond is shallow and sloped, with areas for water vegetations. The pond must get enough sun, and you should not put any fish in it since they will eat the dragonfly nymphs (larvae).
2. Plant Aquatic Vegetations
Want your dragonfly guests happy? Pick the right aquatic plants. They are hiding places for nymphs and perching places for the adults—submerged plants such as baby pondweed, eelgrass, fanwort, wild celeries, and sago pondweed. As for the surface perching spots, pick plants like water horsetail, lotus, and water lilies. They are not only attractive for dragonflies but also beautiful.
3. Plant Shoreline Vegetations
Shoreline vegetations, also known as marsh plants, are places for adult dragonflies to hide for their hunts. Cattail (Typha) is a common marsh plant with thin, sleek stalks, perfect for perching. Another popular option is an arrowhead with wide leaves, perfect for dragonflies to both perch and hide.
4. Use Stakes or Sticks for Temporary Perching Spots
What if your plants are not tall enough for the dragonflies to perch? Plant sticks around the pond for their temporary perching spots. You can use sticks from nearby trees if you want something that looks more artistic, plant bamboo stakes.
5. Pick the Right Rocks
Rocks also serve as great perching spots for adult dragonflies and hiding places for nymphs. You can place flat rocks that will get warm under the sun, which dragonflies love. Start by mixing a few light and dark colors to see which ones attract dragonflies more. Once you find out, buy more rocks to adorn the pond.
6. Get Rid of Bug Zappers
It is tempting to have bug zappers in your garden, especially if you have a severe bug infestation. However, if you are about to attract dragonflies, why riskingof killing them? Dragonflies eat bugs as their main diets, which reduce the need for bug zappers.
Garden Plants to Attract Dragonflies
Water plants and pond ecosystem are not the only things you can use to attract dragonflies. Many dragonfly attracting plants are more suitable for the garden area. Here are several great plants you can grow to adorn the garden and attract dragonflies.
1. Black-eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan is a beautiful annual wildflower species with a bright, daisy-like appearance. They are easy to grow, providing your garden with bright colors. Black-eyed Susan blooms not only attract dragonflies but also butterflies.
Yarrow is easy to plant and quite hardy, providing you with fragrant blooms all year-round. It comes in various shades and easily attracts dragonflies and butterflies.
3. Meadow Sage
Meadow sage is an extremely hardy plant with spiky flowers. You can plant this if you live in an extremely dry or hot area. The flowers have beautiful colors such as blue, pink, purple, and white. Meadow sage is perfect for attracting dragonflies in dry areas, but you can also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Coneflowers are easy to maintain yet giving your beautiful garden bursts of colors. The blooms appear in purple, blue, yellow, burgundy, or white. Aside from attracting dragonflies, coneflowers also make great cut flowers.
5. Swamp Milkweed
Swamp milkweed grows in wet soil so that you can plant them near your pond. They can attract dragonflies and butterflies. This milkweed variety is the most recommended if you want a dragonfly-attracting plant that also makes your garden thrive.
Tips to Maintain Dragonfly Pond
Your pond will be the main feature to attract dragonflies to garden, but poor maintenance can cause problems like overgrowth and algae. Make sure to properly maintain your pond so dragonflies can keep living happily on and near it.
Ensure you keep the water in good condition by keeping the edge clean from dead leaves and overgrowth. Avoid planting large trees nearby as the leaves may fall onto the edge or water surface. If you cannot avoid plants near the pond, control their growth.
If you live in a farmhouse, your dragonflies may be exposed to potential preys, such as sparrows that build a nest in your home structure. Check your property to ensure that there are no potential predators before you build a dragonfly yard or garden.
Finally, make sure you control the growth of reeds and other land vegetations. Pull them out when you see the signs. Avoid using herbicide and pesticide near the pond.
Knowing how to attract dragonflies to your yard or garden is not just about aesthetic. These beautiful flying creatures will control your mosquito and fly problems, making your life easier.