Sunday, September 11, 2011

Talk to the Butterflies

We're celebrating cooler weather. Butterflies are enjoying abundance of nectar on Lantana, Duranta and other nectar laden late summer plants.

I'm already making plans for next year's butterfly gardens. I've taken cuttings of Pentas in all shades of red, pink and white to keep over inside as house plants. Sulphurs and Spicebush Swallowtails are fondest of Pentas.

Pentas don't really start to put on  a lot of bloom until the days start growing shorter. If I can keep cuttings growing through the winter, they'll be in bloom on short spring days when I plant them out next year. Pentas can stand more cold than some perennials. I've had blooms on Ruby Red for Christmas before hard frost took them out in years that winter came late.

Within the month, plants must go inside in case of early frost. I worked on the epi tree in the greenhouse yesterday, fastening oak bark onto the tree with some ancient tileboard adhesive I found in the garage that had not dried in the tube. The price sticker had $1.99, if that tells you how old it must have been.

I experimented with resurrection fern, but it wilts in 99 degree temps inside the greenhouse in the sunshine. We'll have to wait for even cooler weather. I'm ready. Corduroy is going to be big this fall according to the email ads I'm getting.


  1. Hard to think about corduroy yet! I'm going to try some pentas next year. You have convinced me they will over winter here.

  2. How'd I convince you Pentas will overwinter there? They must have exquisite drainage and will be killed back to the roots when that hard freeze finally comes. I take cuttings just in case. There's always the rare winter when a hard freeze preceeds the gradually chill that gets plants ready.

  3. Nell, I think that is the most butterflies I have ever seen at one time!

    BTW, when is the date of your killing frost? We are about a month away here.

  4. When I want to see beauty, your blog is a good place to visit.

    Noticing your spider plant photo, on the right. I bought a small spider plant at a yard sale this summer for 50 cents. Hope it grows into one like yours.

    Corduroy...even I don't wear it here in zone 4. Makes me too hot!


  5. I have been trying to get some butterfly shots, but no success yet! Bring on the corduroy!!!

  6. So many butterflies, what a treat. Corduroy still available, great for an old geezer like myself.

  7. I watch numerous butterflies in your garden with that video. I also doing same work with my house plants. As per my view red, pink and white are common.
    christian counseling

  8. Wow, that video is so cute. I love how your butterflies stick just there, at least it is easy to get the video. We have lots of butterflies too, but they seem to have different manners, as 3 species stick to the drying dill, the swallowtails love the pentas, lantana and duranta, the sulfurs just alight and suddenly leave high up on air, and others just sip and leave, sip and leave. Also the species don't simultaneously come in one weekend when i am available, haha! By the way, i would like to ask you a favor, can you please check my post today which i thought are Licorice. When i check yours they seem to have different leaves. Thank you very much.

  9. Love your butterfly video. Great idea. I snapped a photo the other day showing several at once, but it doesn't do them any justice! I have 4 large caryopteris (blue mist spirea) bushes here that the winged creatures just swarm!! And just the right location from the dining room table to watch the monarchs waft gracefully through the sky while eating! Wish we had swallowtails here, but for some reason they are not, or have not been sighted in my county. .in the guidebooks. .it appears that they aren't here. .won't stop me from trying to attract them! Have a blessed day!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

Google+ Followers