Nature’s Pest Control: Beneficial Insectaries

Hi there, I’m Christy Wilhelmi from Gardenerd
and today I wanted to talk to you about beneficial insectaries because it’s kinda going off right
now. It’s spring, flowers are blooming, and pests
are being controlled by the beneficial insects that you attract to your garden. What is a beneficial insectary? It is exactly that, it is a plant that flowers
that attracts good bugs to the garden, that eat the bad bugs or you know, wards off the
bad bugs in your garden. So when you look around you can see there’s
a…that was a chicken. So if you look around me I’m surrounded by
things like poppies and nasturtiums, and calendula, and they’re all doing a job. Now you hear me talking about beneficial insectaries
a lot because they’re important. I may have a couple of bottles of pest control
on my shelf but I never use them. Because these guys are doing the work for
me. When you grow flowers that attract good bugs
to the garden, they police the garden for you. They also serve another purpose. Some of them can attract bugs away from your
garden. Like nasturtiums for example, over here. Like nasturtiums for example. They attract, they’re kind of a trap crop,
so they attract bugs to them and away from your broccoli. So why wouldn’t you want to grow as many of
these as possible? Take a look around, you can see what we have
growin’ on here. You can see in the picture there are California
poppies, nasturtiums, some calendula, and then there even some milkweed, which of course
is important for butterflies. You’ll also see things like parsley that’s
going to seed. So when parsley bolts to seed it sends up
an umbrella shaped flower, which you can see. And that umbrella shaped flower attracts one
of my favorite pests to the garden. It’s called a parasitic wasp. And parasitic wasps poke holes in aphids and
lays their young inside them. Yay! So, you can get this benefit from any of the
flowers in the Umbeliferae family. So that’s cilantro, parsley, dill, fennel,
celery, if you let that go to seed, and flowers like alyssum and yarrow. You can see other beneficial insectaries here
as well like borage, and trumpet flower. And they help feed hummingbirds and bees as
well. In your garden, be a little bit lazy and let
things go to seed. Around me I haven’t planted these in years. We live in a warm-winter climate, and they
go to seed every year, and every year they come back on their own. So if you live in a place where it doesn’t
get too cold over winter, these seeds will re-germinate every year and you only have
to plant them once. Your garden also benefits from other types
of laziness. For example, you can see these onions here,
when you let them bolt to seed, they start to produce a big fluffy flower that bees love. Pollinators will come by and visit, and then
they’ll pollinate your garden while they’re at it. There are all kinds of flowers that you can
grow that will help attract beneficial insects to your garden. Check with your native plant society first
to see what native plants you should put in your garden. Because native bees benefit best from native
plants. But for other creatures like parasitic wasps
and tachinid flies, and syrphid flies, an all the other really good bugs that help prevent
pests in your garden, grow these guys. So plant some beneficial insectaries in your
garden and let them do the work for you. For more information about growing your own
food, other beneficial insectaries, go to And if you like this video share it with your
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10 thoughts on “Nature’s Pest Control: Beneficial Insectaries

  1. hey Christie, GREAT TOPIC! I wanted to remind ppl that purchasing preying mantis from store they are usually from other countries, (Asia) and they damage native species by eating their foods, and their young. Love the parasitic wasps, they saved my crop last yr, never cut down parsley or dill. Sweet alysyium (sp) also brings in good bugs. This was A LOT of info in short video~ GREAT job…

  2. Nice video Christie. Insects are undeniably a force. I recently started documenting the journey of a queen ant colony for fun. All the best.

  3. Hi I have a rose bush and I was hoping you can tell me when to prune it. Some of my roses have already wilted so does that mean I have to prune it for new roses to grow

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