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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    North Carolina

    Some perennials butterflies love

    I've had some great success with bee balm attracting butterflies. What a showy perennial. It needs a good sunny spot to get established, but when it does.... I do try to plant this near a bird bath or water source as the butterflies will be more apt to rest in a place with both food and water.

    I have some coreopsis planted in some containers that they really seem to love. Again, these are pretty near to a bird bath.

    Gaura, specifically "Whirling Butterflies", attract both butterflies and hummingbirds. I have become a big fan of this perennial. Not only do they present these beautiful dainty flowers, but in the heat of the summer, they are usually crawling with hummingbirds.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Maryland zone 7
    Sounds like a really nice mix of plants. I'm sure you have a list of others you could use. Consider having a saucer of mud near your water source for them to go mud-puddling. The male transfers sodium he gathers from the mud to the female when they mate. If memory serves me it's only the males that are drawn to the mud.

    Do you have any larval food plants for your butterflies?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    a mud puddle, I did not know this.
    Some wonderful advise thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Palm Springs, CA
    Perennials that attract butterflies fall into two categories, one that feeds the adults and the other that feeds the young. Some plants fill both roles.

    Adult Food Plants These plants produce flowers filled with nectar accessed by a an adult butterfly's long tongue. This is the best selection of perennials for the garden.

    Larval Food Plants Butterflies lay their eggs on larval food plants to ensure the caterpillar hatchlings will have plenty of leaves and flowers to feed on. These plants become caterpillar havens, which not only tatters the leaves but the larvae can travel to feed on other plants in your garden as well.

    This list includes some of the most attractive perennials that are strictly adult nectar plants and do not support larvae:

    Armeria meritima Common Thrift
    Chrysanthemum maxima Shasta Daisy
    Eupatorium greggii Joe Pye Weed
    Penstemon hybrids Beard Tongue
    Rudbeckia hirta Black Eyed Susan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I've read some things about Walker's Low being very good for attracting butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Has anyone tried this?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I have lots of painted ladies, cabbage butterflies, Monarchs and some yellow and black swallowtails in my yard in Chicago and they love milkweed -- both the adult and of course the egg and cats. I learned from the local buttrfly lady how to find the Monarch eggs on the underside of the milkweed and hand raise them. You get a lot more adults this way, and the kids think it's really cool.

    Has anyone had luck getting Karner blue or Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies to come visit?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Western North Carolina
    One great way to get the Spicebush Swallowtail is to plant the wild shrub called spicebush. They can be a little hard to locate in the nurseries, but you may be able to find it on-line. The Latin name is Lindera Benzoin . It is a native shrub, that the Spicebush Swallowtail uses as a host plant for it's caterpillars.

    Although, the Karner Blue butterfly isn't native to my area, I know it's host plant is the wild blue lupine. If you plant the butterfly's host plants you are more likely to attract the adult butterflies. Good Luck!

    Gina, aka live2garden
    Last edited by live2garden; 02-24-2010 at 07:46 AM. Reason: Hit the wrong button

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Wow!! It is wonderful time to enjoy the spring season the little butterflies roaming garden to garden , when night and day are nearly the same length and corresponds to the center of the Sun crossing butterflies moving northward. The season of Spring in the most beautiful butterflies are going flower to flower.....
    Thanks & Regards
    Jermaine Brown

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Do you know 7 Top Butterfly Loving Perennials. ... Native plants or native hybrids provide some of the best nectar in attracting butterflies to the garden. Among the sun-loving perennials are some of the best plants for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. We have assembled some of our best selling perennials that butterflies love and have put them in this collection.


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