Insect populations are on the decline around the world, hindering food security and biodiversity. Citizens can be an important part of the solution by planting flower “billboards” that lead pollinators to gardens.
To attract insects, homeowners are often encouraged to use a variety of plant species in the landscape. This study adds to this recommendation, showing that a balance of variety and abundance can maximize the benefit to insects.
“You still want to have enough variety so that insects that prefer specific flower types are more likely to find something to their liking,” Daniels says. “Based on our findings, we recommend that homeowners select five or six types of flower plants known to attract pollinators and insects and group them by species.”