A dragonfly garden can transform your backyard into a peaceful but wild nature experience. Creating such a landscape is becoming increasingly popular, as people continue to staycation and seek a more natural approach to their homes.
The key to attracting dragonflies, according to experts, is plant diversity and water features. These are essential components of any successful dragonfly habitat, both in the nymph and adult stages.
Choosing the Right Plants
One of the easiest ways to attract dragonflies Dragonfly Landscape Design is by planting a wide range of native plants that provide season-long flowers. These include wild columbine, bergamot, goldenrods and asters. The plants will also attract other insects that become food for dragonflies.
Adding a Pond
Many species of dragonflies are drawn to ponds, and the presence of a pond can help create the conditions necessary for these insects to breed. A pond or other water feature will also deter mosquito larvae from growing, which is an important factor in the success of a dragonfly garden.
Putting a Pond in Your Backyard
If you have the space for it, a pond or other water feature in your garden will not only bring dragonflies to your property but can also enhance the beauty and enjoyment of your yard. Having a pond is especially beneficial for dragonflies that spend most of their lives in the water as nymphs.
But the water must be deep enough to support them, said John Abbott, chief curator of Museum Research and Collections at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He recommends a minimum depth of four feet for a pond that can be used as a dragonfly breeding ground.
To make sure the pond is deep enough, you need to remove weeds that will crowd out aquatic vegetation. In addition, a few rocks and cattails should be included in the pond to give larvae hiding places and access to escape.
The right plants around a pond are crucial for dragonflies to survive, said John Abbott, chief curator of Museum of Natural History at the University of Alabama. He suggested a variety of plants, including lilies, waterlilies, milkweed, iris, ironweed and pickerel weed.
Keeping the pond clean is also important, and you should remove any leaves or debris that may be clogging the pond. This will keep the pond clean and free of toxins that could harm dragonflies.
If you have a pond, it is a good idea to add some sort of water filtration system, to keep the water clean and clear. This will reduce the chances of algae buildup and help to maintain the clarity of the water, which is vital for dragonflies.
Other Things You Can Do to Attract Dragonflies
If you’d like to learn more about how you can attract dragonflies to your yard, the University of Michigan has a website that provides helpful tips and information. You can also join the iNaturalist project, which allows you to add sightings of these colorful creatures to a community database.