Butterflies

Butterfly Gardening can easily become a favorite hobby. It's my friend Susie's vocation; she maintains a Butterfly Garden at a University Lab site.  She laughs that I get to see interesting combos because I don't have to keep a 'too neat' garden for visitors. I thought of a plant that Susie's garden boasts that I do not have: wild Columbine.

American Painted Ladies on Echinacea
 
Echinacea in May is a popular butterfly nectar plant. Later in the season, they seek other plants. Knowing when a plant falls from favor gives a clue as to what plants, perhaps not natives, need to be ready for a late season.

Zebra Swallowtail on Echinacea in May.
Later in in the summer, Zebras might prefer Tithonia.
 

Spicebush Swallowtail on native Stokesia.
 

Tiger on Daylily, entertaining spectacle.

Tiger Swallowtail on Vitex.
 
Buddleia, the well-know 'Butterfly Bush' does poorly in my garden because of soil nematodes. I grow Vitex instead. Vitex grows into a small tree, or can be cut back near the ground in late winter to make a bush. I like the tree form. I think Swallowtails like tree forms, too.
 
A dozen nectar plants I always have:
 
Azaleas and Hyacinths are among the first nectar plants sought, early Spring
 
Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Pride of Barbados
 
Dianthus species, including Bath's Pinks and Sweet William
 
Echinacea
 
Esperanza, Tecoma stans
 
Lantana montevidensis
 
Pentas lanceolata
 
Porterweed, Stachytarpeta
 
Salvia leucantha, Mexican Bush Sage
 
Tithonia (annual)
 
Vitex agnus castus, Chaste tree
 
 
Besides the planted nectar plants, I leave a number of weeds to grow for both nectar and as hosts:
 
Henbit for nectar
 
Toadflax, host to Buckeyes and for nectar
 
Rabbit tobacco
 
Pipevine, host
 
 
 
-- butterfly habitats are always in progress --




No comments:

Post a Comment

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



Google+ Followers