Tags: gardening | best | plants | attract | butterflies

Gardening: 10 Best Plants for Attracting Butterflies

By    |   Tuesday, 05 September 2017 11:12 AM

Planting plants that attract butterflies may turn your garden into a sanctuary between their natural habitat and reserves.

With the right choice of nectar plants in sunny, sheltered spots, you could have a garden teeming with these beautiful winged creatures. 

According to Butterfly Conservation, the wider the variety of plant you add to your garden, the more species of butterflies you’ll attract.

Here are 10 choices to get you started:

1. Butterfly Bush — As its name suggests, the Butterfly Bush does attract butterflies, but according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, they prefer lavenderpink (mauve) ones.

This fast-growing shrub produces masses of blossoms with long trusses that bloom from summer to autumn.

They fare best when planted in spring or fall, and they require lots of sun and fertile soil.

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2. Blue Porterweed According to the South Florida Plant Guide, the Blue Porterweed in the most popular butterfly-attracting plant in the area.

While it flowers on and off all year round, you’re more likely to see it bloom in warmer months. That said, the Blue Porterweed is quite hardy when it comes to withstanding cold.

The plants do well if planted in a partly shady spot and can grow up to three feet tall.

3. Mexican flame vine — With its bright orange flowers, the Mexican Flame Vine is the only vine flower that attracts Monarch butterflies.

According to Monarch Butterfly Garden, it may also bring hummingbirds, swallowtails, and bees to northern gardens.

Folia suggests you give the vine three years of growing before it hits its stride, but it’s a low maintenance plant and great for beginner gardeners.

4. Joe-Pye Weed — Part wildflower, part herb, the Joe-Pyed Weed is native to the U.S. and prized as a late-season bloomer.

The Spruce reports that the plant is named after Native American herbalist Joe-Pye Weed, who used it to treat fevers. These days it’s more commonly used to attract butterflies and birds.

They come in white and mauve and their leaves can sometimes give off a vanilla scent.

5. Black-Eyed Susan — With its bright yellow petals and dark center, the Black-Eyed Susan makes a striking addition to any garden and, according to Birds & Blooms, they bring hummingbirds and butterflies too.

Gardening Know How says the Black-Eyed Susan is a robust flower that’s both heat and drought resistant. They’re also self-seeding and can grow in all types of soil.

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6. Chrysanthemum — Chrysanthemums are one of the world’s most popular flowers. They come in a wide variety of colors and forms. Some look like daisies while others look like pompoms.

According to The Flower Expert, Chrysanthemums aren’t specific to any season, but they do best in sunny weather. They start flowering just three months after being planted and are said to keep their flowers for a long time.

7. Cosmos — Cosmos comes in a rainbow of colors, but it’s the chocolate ones that butterflies really like.

This Mexican perennial likes moist, well-drained soil and lots of sun but, according to Gardener’s World, special care will be rewarded with deep red blooms and the smell of vanilla mixed with hot chocolate.

The site suggests keeping chocolate cosmos indoors in winter to help them survive the cold.

8. Lavender — These hardy flowers are one of the butterfly-attracting plants suggested by Butterfly Conservation.

Their lilac-blue flowers bloom over the summer and they can easily be pruned to form a low hedge. Butterfly Conservation suggests planting in April or May and making sure your lavender is in a sunny spot where it can also get some shade.

9. Oregano — Oregano is herb that grows up to 80 centimeters tall, but it also produces delicate blooms in white, pink, and purple in summer.

They’re quite low maintenance, make a great ground cover and besides being good at attracting butterflies they also come with a host of health benefits and are often used in the kitchen for cooking.

10. Aster — Asters are another popular flower for attracting butterflies.

Birds & Blooms suggests planting them early in the season so they’ll be well established by the time winter comes. They can grow up to six feet tall with each planting producing dozens of blooms.

The National Gardening Association adds that they are easy to grow, versatile, and come in all sorts of colors from blues and purples to even white.

They grow best in full sun and like fertile, well-drained soil.

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With the right choice of nectar plants in sunny, sheltered spots, you could have a garden teeming with these beautiful winged creatures.
gardening, best, plants, attract, butterflies
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 11:12 AM
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