Friday, July 20, 2012

Tithonia as a Favorite One Nectar Plant Bed for Butterflies

If I could plant only one summer Nectar Plant for Butterflies, it might be Tithonia rotundifolia, Mexican Sunflower.
Tithonia is a favorite of Gulf Fritillaries

Not only a favorite of Gulf Frits, dark Swallowtails swarm Tithonia, too.

These Tithonia plants self-seeded from last year's plants. They form a bed about 6 x 10 feet, backed by Duranta and Crape Myrtle.

In a drought Tithonia plants sometimes shed some leaves and look a little shabby, but the flowers keep coming, especially with a little deadheading.

Pentas are still my summer favorite and that of Spicebush and Pipevine Swallowtails but the Tithonia bed stays busy any time the sun is out. Remember that maintaining continuous nectar sources for a variety of butterflies requires a diversity of plants.


  1. I think you were the one I learned about tithonia from. I just have a couple plants right now, and one is blooming. The ones I planted across the street got eaten by rabbits or dried up. Oh there may be a couple small ones struggling to survive.

    I hope we start seeing more butterflies.

  2. Those are bright, happy looking flowers and the butterflies are enjoying them.

    Happy gardening ~ FlowerLady

  3. I need to check an see if any self seeded here this year....such a bright summer color!

  4. I must check out to see if the Mexican Sunflower. will grow in our conditions if treated as an annual.

  5. Oh you are having lots of beautiful butterflies there. I planted those Tithonias but they attracted so much aphids and mealy bugs. We also have Pentas and Ixora which they love too, but most of all they love our blue Duranta erecta. At least in our dry season it doesn't stop flowering and is not attractive to the unwanted insects.

  6. Hi Nell. They have such brilliant beautiful blooms.I sowed seeds for them this spring but they just did not germinate for me very well at all. I will keep trying them until I get some. It looks like the butterflies love them.

  7. I love plants that attract different types of butterflies. Oh, that reminds, I have some Mexican sunflower seeds that I have not germinated yet!

  8. I have never grown Mexican sunflowers but will definitely give them a try after reading your posts...they're very colorful and pretty, too.


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

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