Sponsored Links

Plants For Butterfly Garden

plants for butterfly garden 1
Sponsored Links

Plants For Butterfly Garden

Plant a butterfly garden! If there were a beauty contest for insects, butterflies would win by a landslide. Most butterflies live for only a few weeks in their glamorous, winged stage of life. Most of their lifespan is spent in other stages: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, then adult (with wings). Monarch caterpillar fattens up on a milkweed plant. In the chrysalis stage, the monarch caterpillar transforms into an adult butterfly. Photo by Greyson Orlando. The adult monarch butterfly frees herself from her chrysalis, which has turned transparent. Photo by Captain-tucker, Wikimedia Commons The female lays her eggs on a plant for a good reason. The caterpillar that hatches from the egg uses the plant as food, eating almost enough for a lifetime. During the chrysalis stage, the caterpillar transforms into an adult. This transformation is called metamorphosis. Then, the adult butterfly feeds on fruits or the nectar of flowers. This garden is planted with native flowering plants. Picky eaters But butterflies and their caterpillars can’t eat just any plant. Many are very picky. They must eat whatever plants have evolved along with them in their own neighborhoods. There are over 45,000 species of butterflies. Each species evolved eating the flowering plants that grew in their own neighborhoods. Over tens of millions of years, the butterflies and their favorite plants have lived happily together. But then people came along and mixed up the plants. They brought new plants from other parts of the world and planted them as crops or gardens or road landscaping. Some of these plants grew so well that they started to choke out the native plants. Lots of native plants got bulldozed away so people could build houses or shopping malls or ball parks. Even in the city parks and gardens, the green lawns and flowers and trees were not natives. Trees and flowers growing in California may have evolved in Africa or Australia! But, alas, many of the native butterflies couldn’t eat these foreign plants. And the ones they could eat were getting harder to find. So their populations dwindled. Actually, 90% of insect species can eat only the plants that are native to their own regions. Feed the hungry butterflies But we can help them! You can plant a butterfly garden. It is just a matter of finding out what plants used to grow in your own back yard before people came. You may be able to find a book or website describing the native plants of your location. Then, find a nursery or website that sells the seeds or the plants. You will need nectar plants for the adult butterflies and host plants for the caterpillars. For example, many species of adult butterflies feed on the nectar of milkweed flowers. But, only monarch caterpillars can eat the milkweed plant itself. Milkweed is common and widespread, so monarch butterflies are widespread as well. Make a garden of your local butterflies’ favorite foods and you will have a beautiful garden of flowers and butterflies. And don’t cut off those flowers when they look dead. Leave them alone so they can turn into seeds or berries to feed the native birds. Your garden will help the butterflies and the plants and the birds to continue to live happily ever after. We all just want to get along together. Bees are another threatened insect. They are hard workers and we would really miss them if they disappeared. Find out more and make a big bee!
plants for butterfly garden 1

Plants For Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) Butterfly bushes (Buddleia or Buddleja) are large, fast-growing shrubs whose flowers are irresistible to butterflies. Buddleias are easy-care plants, but they’re invasive in some areas. Look for sterile cultivars which don’t set seed and therefore don’t run wild. Phlox Phlox is a low-growing, spreading plant that forms a blanket of blooms all summer. Perennial varieties are great for a year-round groundcover. Coneflower (Echinacea) Coneflower is one of the best flowers for attracting butterflies. It adds a flashy touch of color to the late summer landscape. Plant echinacea among a low growing perennial bed where showy flowers will stand above the rest. Lantana Lantana produces profuse color, showing off clusters of tiny, eye-catching blooms in a variety of hues. Typically grown as an annual, it’s an excellent low hedge or accent shrub that you can also train as a standard. It attracts butterflies and tolerates heat. Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii) Blue star is a perennial that can reach two to three feet in height. It gets its name after it’s blue, star-shaped blooms that open up in spring. Pot Marigolds Pot marigolds’ blooms last up to eight weeks in the summer and are a quick-to-grow plant. Black-Eyed Susan Black-eyed Susan is one of the great wildflowers of North America and was one of the first to become a domesticated garden flower. Its showy golden yellow flower head with black centers are a visual delight. Gayfeather (Liatris spicata) The gayfeather is an interesting perennial which produces 1 to 3 foot-tall spikes of bright purplish pink or white flowers in late June to early fall. It is an ideal plant to grow in a butterfly garden. Heliotrope Heliotrope has a sweet, pungent scent that some liken to the smell of cherry pie. ‘Dwarf Marine’ features a royal purple color. It is large flowered yet compact and has attractive, dark green foliage and a bushy habit. Lavender Lavender is a perennial favorite for gardeners and butterflies alike, producing tall, fragrant spikes of purple blooms. Hailing from the Mediterranean, it’s drought-resistant and can take the heat. Swamp Milkweed The only food source of Monarch caterpillars and a preferred source of nectar for many butterfly species, including the adult Monarch, there are over 100 varieties of milkweeds in North America. Hardy Swamp Milkweed, shown here, is a good choice for Zones 3-8 but prefers moist conditions till well established. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) A type of milkweed, drought-tolerant butterfly weed isn’t picky about growing conditions. Give it a sunny spot, and you’ll be on your way to a flowery summer. Butterflies, bees and other pollinators can’t resist these bright orange blooms. This perennial pushes through soil in late spring, well after other plants are up and at ‘em. It’s a good idea to mark clumps with a stake to avoid early season digging in that spot. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9. Flossflower (Ageratum) Flossflower is an annual that is a member of the aster family. The plants grow easily from seed and with enough water and a little shade, will bloom from midsummer to frost. Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) This delightful cosmos boasts dark maroon flowers that—as you might guess—are chocolate-scented. Agapanthus Agapanthus comes to life in late summer. It features large, elegant, deep blue bell-shaped blooms that are clustered together on tall, sturdy stems. These showy flower heads stand well above the plant’s foliage. Aster Aster is an herbaceous perennial that comes in a wide variety of colors. Its daisy-like flowers bloom in late summer and autumn in a sunny site. Salvia Salvia produces fragrant foliage and tall spikes of flowers, usually in shades of purple or white. Its nectar attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Sea Holly (Eryngium tripartitum) Sea holly has blue green stems with masses of small, metallic blue flower heads on tall, 4-foot stems. Sea holly is a delight to butterflies a tough plant that is very tolerant of drought. Hollyhocks Hollyhocks a favorite for cottage gardens because of their loose, carefree look and beautiful, large blooms that attract bees and butterflies. Sunflowers Cheerful, colorful sunflowers attract both bees and butterflies to the garden. Sedum Sedum has thick, succulent leaves that withstand drought and rainy weather. The flower buds form early and remain attractive well into winter. Low-growing types are perfect for rock gardens, while taller varieties thrive in perennial borders. Goldenrod Goldenrod is a perennial with bright yellow flowers that add color to a late summer garden. Allium A member of the onion family, alliums produce large, beautiful blooms on tall stems. Plant these bulbs in the fall for a spectacular spring show. Joe-Pye Weed This statuesque plant adds strong architectural interest to your flower border and attracts butterflies by the dozen. Because perennial foliage usually declines after the plants bloom, choosing a late-season bloomer such as Joe-Pye weed ensures you have lush, beautiful foliage all season long. The variety called ‘Gateway,’ shown, reaches up to six feet in height. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) This stunning American wildflower loves moist, shady woodland areas and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds for miles around Penta Butterflies and hummingbirds can’t resist penta’s flowers, which perch prettily atop deep green leaves. Plants grow 18 to 24 inches tall and 10 to 15 inches wide.
plants for butterfly garden 2

Plants For Butterfly Garden

Check with a local greenhouse about getting these plants and flowers. Find out which ones are annuals and which are perennials. You may want to plant the annuals in the front of the garden or away from garden fencing because they will need to be replaced each year. Perennials will come back year after year so these should be near the back of the butterfly garden and left alone to grow and thrive. If your local greenhouse cannot get you the plants you need, check in catalogs that sell bulbs or online and order them. Be sure to learn when and how to best plant them, especially if you must purchase bulbs and start the plants from scratch. You can add some butterfly garden accessories like a Butterfly House, which has slots the ideal size for keeping birds out while giving butterflies protection from the wind and weather, and are beautiful garden decorations. You could offer an additional nectar source close by to supplement your flowers. By providing both the food and shelter butterflies need you can prolong the butterfly’s stay in your garden and draw in others. Once you have designed and started your butterfly garden, you can be proud that you have made a habitat for butterflies in your own yard, which helps with the conservation of the many species of quickly disappearing butterflies today. You will certainly want to place your favorite outdoor furniture near so that you can enjoy all of your visitors day after day.

Plants For Butterfly Garden

Plants For Butterfly Garden
Plants For Butterfly Garden
Plants For Butterfly Garden
Plants For Butterfly Garden

Sponsored Links

2 Photos of the "Plants For Butterfly Garden"

plants for butterfly garden 1
plants for butterfly garden 2