How to Attract Dragonflies to Your Garden

How to attract dragonflies to your garden
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash – Joshua J. Cotten

Dragonflies have often inspired artists and been viewed as symbols of strength and wellbeing in many cultures. But having dragonflies in your garden offers real benefits beyond superstition and admiration. Find out here how to attract dragonflies to your garden with these handy tips.

Why Attract Dragonflies?

Dragonflies are highly efficient carnivorous predators that can consume their own body weight and more on a day-to-day basis. Dragonflies can easily catch and eat up to 95 percent of their chosen prey. This is thanks to their highly evolved eyesight and airborne agility. Dragonfly favorites include pesky and damaging insects such as moths, mosquitoes, flies, plant-eating bugs, and aphids.

4 Tips to Attract Dragonflies to Your Yard

If you want to attract dragonflies to your yard, you need to install a water feature
If you want to attract dragonflies to your yard, you need to install a water feature. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash – Laura Ockel)
  1. Add Water Features – providing the ideal aquatic oasis for dragonflies is the best way to attract these beneficial insects to your outdoor living areas. Dragonflies usually lay their eggs in the water, close to the base of plants for extra protection. Whether it is a pond, water garden, or lake, these offer the perfect environment for dragonflies to breed and flourish safely, and in the process will keep your gardens naturally pest-free.
  2. Add Water Plants and Plant Vegetation around Water – Species such as water lilies and water cabbage are great additions that will give busy dragonflies space to rest when not hunting. Marginal plants (plants that grow on the edge of ponds and lakes) like rush, reeds, and irises provide ideal cover for dragonflies to safely lay eggs. These marginal plants are also used by dragonfly nymphs to climb out of the water as they reach maturity.
  3. Plant Pollinator Plants – Marigold, dandelion, sunflower, lavender, and daisies will attract various pollinating insects and flowering vegetables like leek, chives, runner beans, cabbage, and dill also have the same effect. If you give dragonflies – and their prey – a reliable nearby food source, it will encourage them to linger in your garden for longer.
  4. Add Flat Rocks – Doing this gives dragonflies a place to rest and sun themselves. Placing overhanging rocks close to the edge of your pond will offer shelter to dragonfly nymphs. Hollow logs are another great form of shelter that can be placed in your chosen water feature or around it.

Can Fish and Dragonflies Co-exist in Your Garden?

Unfortunately, most fish will only eat any dragonfly nymphs they find still swimming underwater. If you really want to attract dragonflies to your gardens, stocking your pond with fish should be avoided.

Things to Avoid

Avoid using algaecide and other pesticides to clean your pond as this may harm dragonfly nymphs. The use of outdoor bug zappers is never a good option as these will harm or kill the dragonflies, their prey, and other beneficial insects in your garden.

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