Many people are unaware of the fact that dragonflies are excellent mosquito predators.
Mosquito populations can actually be kept to a minimum low if you manage to attract dragonflies to your area.
Not only do dragonflies eat mosquitoes, but they eat other pests as well.
A study found that dragonfly larvae played a key role in controlling mosquito populations, being most effective in their larval stage, with grown dragonflies eating an impressive number of mosquitoes (up to 100) per day.
So how can you attract dragonflies if they don’t appear to be living in your area? By adding the following plants to your landscape, you can attract and encourage the population to flourish!
1. Meadow Sage (Salvia marcus)
These tough plants, ideal for hot and sunny areas are pest and disease free. The flower spikes come in shades of white, purple, pink, or blue, depending on the variety. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and pollinators love this family of flowers.
2. White Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Image via Amanda Graham / Flickr
This beautiful wildflower produces an abundance of large, flat clusters about 5 inches across, packed with 20 to 25 creamy-white flowers. Their disease-resistant, fern-like foliage attracts tiny parasitic wasps and butterflies dragonflies love. The plant thrives in well-drained soils, dry to medium moisture, and full sun. It is loved by many people, as it contributes to the brightening of the summer garden. Тhankfully, it’s also very easy to grow!
3. Yarrow (Archillea)
Image via ichigosama9 / Flickr
This is an extremely easy to grow long-blooming garden staple. The Yarrow’s flowerheads can be dried for use in arrangements and their silvery foliage is strongly aromatic.
They are available in a variety of colors and are an important source of nectar for butterflies and other pollinators.
4. Cattail (Typha latifolia)
Image via Chris Jones / Flickr
Also known as bull rushes, the Cattail is usually found in marshy areas. They make a perfect choice for both larval and adult dragonflies, just like horsetail, and grow easily with little effort.
5. Water Lily
Image via SharDan2 / Flickr
Floating plants such as water lilies make for a great egg-laying spot for grown dragonflies. They can be grown from tubers planted inside pots beneath the surface of the water. The plant will then shoot up rounded leaves and star-shaped surface floating blossoms. You can help keep the plant submerged by adding in rocks.
6. Coneflowers (Echinacea)
Image via Jordan Meeter / Flickr
This perennial garden favorite is dependable and very low maintenance. They come in a variety of colors and have daisy-like flowers with a raised cone. They are loved by butterflies and are good for cutting.
7. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Image via scott1346 / Flickr
This is a very popular choice for the dragonfly and is able to attract butterflies and other pollinators. Black-eyed Susans are bright yellow wildflowers that typically live for around two years in mostly warm climates and die off once winter arrives in cooler climates. They require full sunlight and regular watering to bloom and adapt well to almost every type of soil.
8. Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Image via Dan Mullen / Flickr
Part of the milkweed family, these are a top destination for the dragonfly, butterfly, as well as pollinator tourist. The swamp milkweed thrives in consistently moist soil but also performs well in average soil.
9. Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)
Image via liz west / Flickr
The Joe-Pye produces pink-purple flowers that last from mid-summer through fall and attracts a variety of butterflies and other insects like bees, which dragonflies can’t get enough of.
They reach a height of up to 12 feet, which is perfect for dragonflies, as they like tall perches. The flowers produce a vanilla scent that intensifies when crushed. They grow naturally in moist woods or meadows and grow in full or partial sunlight. When dried, the roots of the Joe Pye weed can additionally be used to make diuretic tea.
10. Water Horsetail
Image via ClatieK / Flickr
This is an emergent plant and a combination of a floating and submerged plant. Water horsetails grow roots on the pond floor, but their stems also rise out of the water. Once they have reached their adult phase, dragonfly larvae use water horsetail to make their way to the pond surface. Water horsetails are not grown from seed but nursery plants.
You can plant horsetails about two inches below the soil on the edge of your water area or pond. And once they are set firm, the can withstand short periods of dry weather. They grow in full sunlight as well as part shade.
Let us know if you’ve successfully managed to attract dragonflies to your garden with these or other plants in the comment section below.