• In order to insure year round habitat, you must provide a variety of plants with different bloom and fruiting times.
  • Some insectary plants can be considered weedy. If you are planting near natural areas, consider restricting your palette to natives only (noted with an asterisk* in the list below).
  • Many native birds prefer dense shrubby habitat, and require some dead twigs and branches for nesting. Regular hedging or pruning at the wrong time of the year can affect nesting.
  • If you are looking to promote native bees, leaving some areas of bare soil is important, many of California’s native solitary stingless bees nest in the ground.
  • Fungal interactions protect plants from diseases, improve heat tolerance, and help them alert insect predators about aphids, and other harmful insects. Try to promote healthy symbiotic fungi by mulching, and reducing herbicide use and soil disturbance. A good rule of thumb to tell good fungi from bad, is if the mushroom is growing on the wood of a live tree or shrub, it is not beneficial. However, mushrooms growing on soil, dead leaves and mulch tend to be indicators of healthy soils and plants.
Plants Beneficial for Insects Plants Beneficial for Birds Non-living Options
Achillea millefolium*
Asclepias fascicularis*Aster sp.
California poppy*
Ceanothus sp.*
Clarkia sp.*
Datura sp.*
Encelia californica*
Eriogonum species*
Helianthus annus*
Heteromeles arbutifolia*
Lavandula species
Native wildflowers*
Quercus sp. *
Ribes sp.*
Salvia sp.
Scabiosa sp.
Tanacetum parthenium
Tithonia rotundiflora
Helianthus annus*
Eriogonum species*Heteromeles arbutifolia*
Berberis (Mahonia) aquifolium*
Berberis nevinii*
Quercus sp.*
Rubus ursinus*
Rhus ovata*
Rhus integrifolia*
Penstemon sp.
Salvia sp.
Salvia sp. (native)*
Prunus ilicifolia*
Ribes sp.*
Ceanothus sp.*
Arctostaphylos sp.*
Mimulus sp*
Salix sp.*
Rocks (lizards, snakes)
Logs (birds, decomposers, predatory beetles)
Sticks, dead branches (native bees, praying mantids, birds)
Mulch (worms, predatory beetles and other insects, birds)