KL residents keen to grow more insect-friendly plants

The Taman Midah flood retention pond in Cheras has many ‘burung tempua’ or weaver bird nests.

SEVERAL gardeners involved in urban farming in Kuala Lumpur are planning to grow more insect-friendly plants to ensure that pollinators like butterflies, dragonflies and bees survive and thrive in the city.

Those involved in urban farming projects with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Local Agenda 21 (LA21) have expressed interest in projects to enhance biodiversity.

Sungai Midah Flood Retention Pond Nature Lovers Club coordinator Mohd Zainuddin Amran said its members were willing to grow more flowering plants that were potential food sources for the insects.

“We will do some research to find out the right types of plants.

“We think some of the places where we can plant such shrubs and trees are those along the walking path to the pond area, ” he told StarMetro.

Zainuddin said the club had more than 200 members from Kampung Malaysia Raya, Kampung Malaysia Tambahan, Sri Malaya Apartment, PPR Seri Malaysia and PPR Desa Petaling.

“These residents have been planting vegetables near the flood retention pond, ” he said.

StarMetro recently reported that the butterfly population in the city was dwindling due to changes in land use and development.

Sanitisation and fumigation to counter the Covid-19 pandemic had also contributed to the decline in insect population, making it increasingly urgent to create more green spaces and grow flowering plants.

LA21 secretariat coordinator A. Ghani Mohamed also expressed interest in having more plants for insect pollinators such as butterflies and bees.

“This is something that we have been thinking about because of the benefits that such plants will bring in enhancing biodiversity.

“We are aware that pollinators like dragonflies are good at keeping mosquitoes at bay and will help control the spread of dengue, ’’ he said.

Ghani added that LA21, in collaboration with DBKL, was currently working with over 60 communities in Kuala Lumpur to manage, maintain and farm urban gardens in several residential areas in the city.

Also keen to boost the population of insects is Taman Desa Residents Association chairman Wong Chan Choy, who was instrumental in setting up the community garden under the Kebun Desa project.

“We read about the decreasing number of butterflies and feel we should plant flowers too.

“We understand the importance of conserving the insect population, not just in neighbourhood gardens but also in private residences.

“We will definitely look into planting a diverse range of insect-friendly plants in our community garden, ” he added.

Shruti Nagan started photographing her garden a year ago after she had planted some new flowering plants and was pleasantly surprised to discover a jump in insect population.

“There were plenty of butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs and grasshoppers, ’’ she said.

“They just suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and after some research, I found out that some of the plants in my garden were caterpillar host plants and were attracting butterflies, ” she said, adding that she would continue to plant more insect-friendly plants in her garden.

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