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How to Attract Dragonflies to Your Garden

Attracting dragonflies to your garden has many benefits because these insects will help to control the insects that you don’t want around, such as mosquitoes and white cabbage butterflies.

Did you know that dragonflies in one form or another, have been around for approximately 300 million years? Yes, they even existed during the dinosaur era but looked very different back then.

There are numerous dragonfly species in Australia and these can be found in areas with natural waterways such as rivers and lakes. 

Attracting dragonflies to your garden has many benefits because these insects will help to control the insects that you don’t want around, such as mosquitoes and white cabbage butterflies.

So, if you want some natural insect control in your garden, here’s what you need to do to attract dragonflies.

Create a pond

As mentioned, dragonflies are attracted to areas with fresh water. So, to attract them to your garden, you need to create a pond where they can lay their eggs and where the dragonfly nymphs can hatch and grow into flying insects.

Dragonfly 2 | Wildlife

But, you don’t want to add fish to the pond because these will eat the dragonfly larvae. When you set up your pond, try to obtain some water from a natural freshwater course in your area. 

Just a bottle full is fine. This will help to introduce aquatic insects into your new pond. These insects are necessary to feed the young dragonfly nymphs once the adult lays her eggs.

The pond should also be mostly in the sun because dragonflies are cold-blooded insects and they need the sun for energy. Once dragonflies absorb the energy from the sun, they can happily flit around and catch flying insects.

Place some large flat rocks around the pond

To help visiting dragonflies with their sunbaking, be sure to place some large flat rocks around the edges of your pond.

These should be light in colour and be positioned in the sun so that they get nice and warm. 

Dragonfly 1 | Wildlife

This will allow the dragonflies to rest on the rocks and absorb the sun’s energy.

Place some aquatic plants in your pond

Although dragonflies primarily feed on insects, they will lay their eggs in the soft stems of aquatic plants. The foliage allows the dragonfly nymphs to pull themselves out of the water.

Make sure that you have plants near the edges of the pond. Water Lilies are particularly useful for planting in your pond. 

Not only will dragonflies use the large lily pads to sun themselves on, but the females will also lay their eggs in and around these plants.

Dragonfly 3 | Wildlife

Plus, the lily pads give the dragonfly nymphs plenty of hiding places until they’re ready to emerge from the water.

The arrowhead plant is also great for planting in your pond as it is favoured by dragonflies as the perfect nursery for their young. 

Don’t use pesticides in your garden

If you want to create a natural habitat for dragonflies, you must avoid using pesticides as these will not only kill the nasty insects but also the beneficial ones.

Plus, pesticides can easily end up in the pond or other natural waterways around your area and damage the delicate ecosystem.

It’s also a good idea to use natural products to control weeds in your garden as any chemicals can damage the natural ecosystem that you’re trying to create. 

Pulling out weeds by hand and using thick layers of mulch is perfect for controlling weeds in your garden beds. For weeds on pathways, try dousing them with boiling water or a mixture of vinegar and water.

Make sure that the pond water is kept clean

There are plenty of aquatic plants that will help to keep the water in your pond nice and clean. Adding a solar fountain will also help to circulate the water and keep it full of oxygen.

Plant some colourful flowers in your garden

Not only will flowers attract other beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies but they will also attract dragonflies.

Dragonfly 4 | Wildlife

Flowers that attract dragonflies include Black Eyed Susan, coneflowers and meadow sage. These flowers appear in shades of yellow and blue. Both of these colours are well-known for attracting pollinators.

FAQ

What time of day are dragonflies most active?

Dragonflies are most active during the warmer parts of the day. This is most likely in the middle of the afternoon after they’ve had time to warm up by basking in the sun.

What months are dragonflies out?

In Australia, you’ll find that dragonflies can mostly be seen from November to March in the cooler regions. However, in the warmer areas, you might see dragonflies throughout the year.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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