Houston Organic Garden Tips & Advice
Butterfly gardening is such a treat because you get this second wave of color on top of the pretty flowers you’ve already got. Anita’s got some lessons for us to learn how to pick out flowers that will attract butterflies.
Well, holding in my hand, I have a salvia and also is a red flower.
Bees, they can’t see red, but butterflies and hummingbirds can see red.
Okay, so hummingbirds can see red, and so there’ll be attracted to just the color alone.
Just the color alone.
Yes. And these flowers are long and skinny like this, and the nectar is way up in there. Butterflies and hummingbirds have a long tongue called a proboscis, which they can get up into the flower and get that nectar.
That is so cool. So this cufia is a really cool example of a long tubular flower.
And not only that, it is one of the best humming bird and butterfly flowers that we have here in the Houston area.
So it’s got that red color. We know it’s good for them to get in there and get it. And it’s going to have a lot of nectar, because butterflies want nectar, not pollen.
And it blooms all summer long.
That is so cool.
And into the fall.
So I look at this and I see now, here’s this one, it’s got these really long white tubes for them to go into. I’m sure those aren’t really called tubes.
Right. And that’s a plumbago, which is actually a shrub.
It doesn’t have to be bedding plants. We also have this one which is also a classic.
Hamelia. And then the Mexican honeysuckle. Again, a shrub. So you don’t have to have bedding plants to get the butterflies and hummingbirds into your garden.
There’s another way to get them into the garden, too, especially butterflies. And that’s by having host plants, plants that the caterpillars eat. So each of these will attract a different butterfly.
That’s right. This one will attract the Gulf Coast fertile area.
And that one attracts the swallowtail.
Now this one’s rue.
It’s meadow rue. Yeah, and this is dill, by the way.
And then that is milkweed, which is a monarchs host plant for their larvae.
That is cool. So that’s two strategies. It’s best to have both of these strategies if you want to get butterflies in your space.
Absolutely, I agree. And also, this one also makes a flower that the butterfly will get nectar from, as well.
Well, thanks so much. I always love seeing all these flowers. I do want to point out this really cool Columbine and how unique it is
Yeah, it has that super long spur on that, so it may not be pollinated by butterflies or hummingbirds. I think it’s probably pollinated by a moth.
Oh, cool. Something with a really long proboscis.
Really long tongue.
That is awesome. Well, great information, Anita, thank you.
For more cool information on butterflies or plants that attract them, go to homeshowgardenpros.com.