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BONNIE’S GARDEN – Plants for a Butterfly Friendly Garden

By Bonnie Pega
Bonnie's Garden

Last week, my blog was about feeding the butterfly babies (caterpillars). Now we want to attract the grown-ups.

Good Butterfly Attracting Perennials

The following is a list of good butterfly-attracting perennials, although there are lots of others. Note: Because butterflies prefer sunny areas, most of their preferred nectar flowers are also sun-lovers.

  • Alliums
  • Asters
  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Butterfly Weed (Milkweed)
  • Catnip
  • Centauria (Mountain Bluets)
  • Clovers
  • Coreopsis (Tickseed)
  • Echinacea (Coneflowers)
  • Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
  • Garlic Chives
  • Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium)
  • Lavender
  • Liatris
  • Marjoram
  • Mints
  • Oregano
  • Penstemon
  • Rudbeckias (Black-eyed Susans)
  • Salvias
  • Tithonia (Mexican Sunflowers)
  • Verbena
  • Viburnum
  • Vitex (Chaste Tree)
  • Yarrow

When planting perennials, try to plant perennials that bloom at different times so there are always nectar sources available.

Why You Should Plant Annuals and Perennials

By planting annuals along with your perennials, you’ll always have something in bloom, even when your perennials stop. Some good annuals are:

  • Ageratum
  • Alyssum
  • Cosmos
  • Dahlias (dig and store over-winter and you can keep these for years)
  • Dianthus
  • Heliotrope
  • Lantana
  • Pentas
  • Petunias
  • Marigolds
  • Annual Salvia
  • Sunflowers
  • Annual verbena
  • Zinnias

Butterflies also need a water source. Having shallow saucers around or deeper saucers filled with wet sand can help. Birdbaths, fountains, or ponds are too deep.

Birds and Butterflies – Keep Them at a Distance From One Another

One thing to consider is to keep bird-feeders and birdbaths AWAY from the flowers you’re using to attract butterflies. While we want birds in our yards, in another area—away from butterfly babies—is best or the caterpillars may wind up as lunch….

Get Personalized Suggestions for Your Unique Yard

Would you like personalized suggestions for your unique yard situation?

If so, stop by the Great Big Greenhouse and talk with us about exactly how to create a butterfly-friendly environment. The butterflies will thank you and you’ll have the pleasure of watching those beautiful creatures flutter from flower to flower in a magical dance choreographed by Mother Nature herself!

To read more from Bonnie, visit our blog

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