The insectary garden was recently renovated with these three key goals:
1. Make the garden ADA compliant. We are altering a few of the paths to accommodate wheelchairs and at the same time creating appropriate gathering places for tour groups.
2. Incorporate the garden with the surrounding features. The design aesthetic is being altered to more effectively work with the lemon arbor, the olive allée and the citrus orchards while creating natural entry and exit points.
3. Select plants for optimum effectiveness. Plantings in the garden will include the plant species we use in our current insectaries, along with others that new research has shown to be most effective in attracting beneficial insects.
The plants here provide food for insects. As these insects move into the gardens they eat pests or lay eggs which, when hatched, produce larvae that also eat pests such as thrips or aphids.
Using an insectary for pest control reduces or eliminates the need for chemical pesticides. Lotusland’s sustainable gardening plan includes only the use of certified organically-based materials and the least harmful alternatives available.
Another benefit of an insectary is that butterflies are attracted to these same plants as a food source. Milkweed (Asclepias curassivica) serves as a host plant for Monarch butterflies, which lay their eggs only on this plant species. As of March of 2020, we have 305 taxa (different types of plants) in the insectary garden.