Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > July 2016 > IN THE DIRT with DOUG - BRINGING HOME THE BUTTERFLIES


Now that summer is officially here, this is the time of year when butterflies begin to visit our gardens to feed and help pollinate our plants.  There are so many beautiful and colorful hardy perennials that are in bloom in July.
                Butterflies have a weak sense of smell, but good vision.  Their favorite flowers are often brightly colored but odorless. 
                There has been a big surge in articles in many papers and magazines about the benefit of having some Asclepsias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) in our gardens for the Monarch Butterflies. Asclepias is a native plant for our area. 
I am getting a little off the subject but you do know what constitutes a plant to be classified as a native?  According to the Virginia Native Plant Society native plants are those that were growing here when the settlers first arrived.  Now back to the subject at hand.
 In addition to the Butterfly Weed there are many more hardy perennial plants that are attractive to butterflies.
                One of my favorite perennial is Echinacea, Purple Cone Flower for attracting butterflies.  And, the Purple Cone Flower is also a  native plant in our region.
My Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’ is now coming into bloom and I see butterflies already hovering on the plants.
It goes without saying that a plant called ‘Butterfly Bush’ attracts butterflies and there are many attractive varieties to choose.  It produces a large display of fragrant flower clusters.  Butterfly bushes are a woody perennial that has a vigorous growing habit.  Because it blooms off of the new spring growth, butterfly bushes can be pruned heavily during the winter months in order to control its size and shape.
Other wonderful perennials to plant for bringing butterflies to your garden are:  Monarda (Bee Balm), Nepeta (Catmint), Lavender, Sedum Spectabile,  and Joe-Pye-Weed just to name a few.plants.
                                                                                HAPPY GARDENING!
Posted: 7/20/2016 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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