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Native Plants: Do You Wish You Had More Fireflies?

Do you wish you had more fireflies in your backyard?  

Let's build a habitat for fireflies together and bring back that summer wonder!

Free ways to bring back fireflies:

- Leave the leaves in fall (You can also rake them all to a specific area and designate that as your firefly/pollinator habitat...just don't throw away the leaves because you are throwing away baby fireflies!)

- Pile logs and twigs in an area for the fireflies to use as habitat

- Turn off your outdoor lights at night

Native Plants Featured:

- Buttonbush (𝘊𝘦𝘱𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘶𝘴 𝘰𝘤𝘤𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴)

- American Elderberry (𝘚𝘢𝘮𝘣𝘶𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘴)

- Late Boneset (𝘌𝘶𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘶𝘮 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘮)

- Cardinal Flower (𝘓𝘰𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘢 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴)

- New England Aster (𝘚𝘺𝘮𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘰𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘶𝘮 𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘦-𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘦)

- Indiangrass (𝘚𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘮 𝘯𝘶𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘴)

- Sideoats Grama (𝘉𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘶𝘢 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘭𝘢)

Additional native Ohio plants that are particularly beneficial:

1. Wildflowers
  • Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca): This plant supports various pollinators, and its dense foliage provides excellent cover for fireflies during the day.

  • Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa): Known for its aromatic leaves and bee-attracting blooms, this plant also creates a moist, shaded microhabitat favored by firefly larvae.

  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta): With its bright yellow flowers, this plant not only adds color to your garden but also supports a range of insects, contributing to a healthy ecosystem.

2. Grasses and Sedges
  • Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium): This native grass offers excellent cover and moisture retention, creating an ideal environment for fireflies to lay eggs and for larvae to thrive.

  • Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica): A ground cover that thrives in shaded areas, this sedge helps maintain soil moisture and provides a habitat for firefly larvae.

3. Shrubs and Trees
  • Spicebush (Lindera benzoin): This shrub attracts pollinators and provides a habitat for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly. Its dense foliage offers daytime cover for fireflies.

  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea): A small tree with white spring flowers and edible berries, it supports various wildlife species and provides the shaded, moist conditions fireflies prefer.


Maintain Moisture

Fireflies thrive in damp environments. Incorporate a water feature like a small pond or birdbath, and mulch your garden beds to retain soil moisture.

Avoid Pesticides

Pesticides can be harmful to fireflies at all life stages. Opt for organic gardening practices and use natural pest control methods to protect these beneficial insects.

The Magic of Fireflies in Your Garden

By incorporating native Ohio plants and creating a firefly-friendly environment, you can enjoy the enchanting glow of fireflies in your garden. Not only will you contribute to the preservation of these magical insects, but you'll also cultivate a beautiful, sustainable garden that supports a diverse array of local wildlife.

Happy gardening, and may your nights be illuminated by the twinkling lights of fireflies!

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