Butterfly Attracting Plants with Photos

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Well, y'all talked me into starting this thread. It will be very useful for me as well as others I am sure!

And the first plant will be Porterweed! (Re-posting the photo because it seems appropriate.)

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

I believe this cultivar is Stachytarpheta cayennensis (which also goes by the common names as Blue Porterweed, Blue Rat's Tail, Verbena Azul, Cayenne Snakeweed).

I dug up this huge plant and transplanted it to the backyard garden. I gave it lots of water the first 2 weeks and it looked wilted by the end of each day, but perked up within an hour of watering it thoroughly. Now that it is once again established, I don't water it at all. It's very drought tolerant. It needs full sun to flower and very little care. I fertilize with osmocote once or twice a year.

This photo is of it at about 3' tall. It will get between 4-6' tall unless I prune it back. Which I do several times a year. I will be saving seeds from this plant as the spikes mature.


This message was edited Jun 16, 2007 5:47 PM

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Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Hey Becky!! You did it!! Yaaaaaaay!
Love that porterweed.. I have some itty bitty seedlings so far, but I am very optomistic about them.
This is going to be fun, especially for the 'visual' and 'visually impared' people like myself, LOL! It's kindof overcast and been raining a lot, but I will go out and take another pic of Joe Pye, and some other things in just a few minutes.

Thanks for starting this thread Becky!!!

:-S

SALVIA, Black & Blue>

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

This is another photo of why it is called black and blue. It is supposed to be a hummer magnet too!

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Here is one in my front bed that gets ALL the sun and heat. It loves those conditions with minimal watering.

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

And this is what happens to it if it gets too much water and not enough sun. Actually I think the location is okay, I just need to "BACK AWAY FROM THE HOSE!!!". LOL!

Sad, huh? I will stop watering it and it will come right back. I had another one in my front garden bed that I overwatered. I thought I had killed it, but it just recently showed up again and looks larger and healthier than before. The front bed doesn't get much water. Which this plant seems to love those dry conditions.

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Jeffersonville, IN(Zone 6b)

Ok, well, this one is from last year. Butterfly bush with Viceroy. :)

edited to say oops!

This message was edited Jun 16, 2007 6:29 PM

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Jeffersonville, IN(Zone 6b)

and butterfly bush with Tiger Swallowtail, because I think these are my favorite butterflies. :)

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Nice Felicia! Though your first one is not a Monarch but a Viceroy! Nice to see one of those! Great photos! :-)

I see you changed that in your post! :-)

This message was edited Jun 16, 2007 9:15 PM

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 8b)

This Verbena bonariensis, Vervain or Verbena on a Stick, attracts a lot of butterflies.

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Rox - Nice photo! Is that a PVST? I keep hearing about this plant. Would you mind taking a full shot of the plant. I really want to see what the leaves look like and how it grows. Thanks!

This message was edited Jun 17, 2007 9:53 PM

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 8b)

Will do Becky! Maybe I can get some seeds. It tends to reseed easily and come up everywhere, but I like it because of its magnetism lol

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Blue Mist is a great nectar plant for butterflies.

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Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Lovely Verbena Roxanne! I love the PVST pic too!

Sure nuff Sheila! The Texas Blue Mist (Eupatorium greggii) is an excellent flower for butterflies. It is growing like crazy now, and in places where I didnt plant it even. I don't mind that at all now because the bflies love it so much.

I got adventurous and got one called Blue Mistflower
(Hardy Ageratum, Blue Mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum)

this year. It is a woody shrub, and the blooms are a darker, sortof royal blue. I put it in front across from one of the Buddleias. It is still very small and hasn't come close to blooming yet. The Starlings that are neting above my garage stripped the leaves clean. Then I made a concoction with lotsa garlic and all kinds of peppers, (cayenne and jalapeno). I strained it until it was a clear brown tea, and sprayed it on the plants, and now I finally have foliage, :-).
http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/103509/

Here is a shot of..
Texas Mistflower
Eupatorium greggii
..which is growing like crazy now. I got them from Paige and Josephine...:-) at the swap last October.

Thumbnail by debnes_dfw_tx
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Here's one for the record books:
Huisache Daisy, Butterfly Daisy, Honey Daisy
Amblyolepis setigera
http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/64298/index.html

When butterflies really began coming this spring they all seemed to want a sip of this one. For a real teller you can see a couple pages in my site taken that weekend.
Beginning here> http://www.theletteroflove.com/wallpaper/
keep clicking 'next page' to see all the pages of closeup bfly pics. Click on each pic to see full view.
I sure do love these Daisies!!

Pictured here with an American Lady and a Variegated Fritillary>

Thumbnail by debnes_dfw_tx
The Woodlands, TX(Zone 8b)

I'm loving everyone's pics!
Deb, have to get some of that Mist flower! So pretty!

They all love the Buddleia.

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The Woodlands, TX(Zone 8b)

Here's a Gf on a Zinnia.

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(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Rox - I would love some seeds of your Verbena bonariensis! Pretty flowers and being a butterfly magnet .... it sounds like the perfect plant for a garden bed!

Deb - I planted some Purple Mistflower, but I must be doing something wrong because I always kill this plant. Too much water or not enough. Not sure where my error is with this plant. Does yours like to stay dry or moist?

Love your Butterfly Daisy plants! Nice photos on your website! :-) :-)

Rox - I now have various Zinnias in my garden and I have noticed more butterflies on those plants than any other in that section of my garden. :-)

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Great pics, folks...how close is/are your camera/s to the butterfly/ies and how do you get them to keep still?!

Debnes, I sure hope you collected a lot of seed fro your Huisache Daisy because I'm pretty sure we're allgoing to hit you up for some!

Suzy

Peachtree City, GA(Zone 7b)

I have 2 plants of the Verbena bonariensis. I would love to collect seeds to share and grow. Has anyone ever done these from seed? How? Any special tricks?

Chris

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Chris - I'd like to know the same thing. I received seeds in a group swap and planted them, but they never germinated for me. :-(

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

I have a couple of them that have just started blooming. I received them at one of the RU's. I'll try and save some seeds. I like the way they are so airy, and move around in the wind. : )

Peachtree City, GA(Zone 7b)

If I new they were going to be as cute as they are, I woulda bought a couple more. I wonder if they need to be planted in the fall outside or should they be started in the house for spring transplant.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

I can help, but just a little. I started these from seed this year and they are soooo slow, it's amazing. They supposedly reseed like crazy by doing nothing, and I'm sure they do, but since they are so slow growing, half the summer would be over before they bloomed. I heard they reseed like Cleome..once you have them, you always have them, unless you deadhead &/or mulch.

They are hardy perennials we grow as annuals in Indiana. They are premium priced, and I can understand why, now that I've grown them from seed.

However, Georgia, Florida, Texas -- most of the people on this forum --have totally different growing conditions, and since these are hardy to zone 7, it is a whole other kettle of fish.

Here is some info on how to start them:
http://seeds.thompson-morgan.com/us/en/product/8788/1

Suzy

(Maggie) Jacksonvill, FL(Zone 9a)

I grew the VB from seed. Being lazy, I just did wintersowing and up-potted what survived once before putting it in the ground.

Maggie

Peachtree City, GA(Zone 7b)

Good info, thanks.
If they re-seed like cleome, I will be very happy. I will move some mulch so they have some room.
These would be great for the roundups.
I will try wintersowing anyway just so I have some more for next year, if they dont re-seed.

chris

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

The Blue Mist Flower (Eupatorium greggii) is a butterfly magnet, especially a hit with the Monarchs later in the summer. But be aware, it is INCREDIBLY invasive. That's not a problem for me, because I put it in an area where it can spread out for several feet before I'll start hacking it back. Just be aware when you put it in the ground that it will not stay a nice little compact shape -- it will attempt to take over the entire flowerbed.

Carla

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Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Tiger Swallowtail on zinnia.

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Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Hi butterfliers, Great thread and I am enjoying your pics and comments.

A few bits to chime in with:

The Texas Mist Flower (Eupatorium greggi) likes drier alkaline soils. High Country Gardens makes this a point twice in its write up (so it must be true!):

http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/50340/

That may explain why mine failed to return last year, too. They recommend the other eupatoriums for Eastern gardens--too bad since greggi seems so delicious to the texas butterflies!

Illoquin, I think verbena bonairienses are easy to winter sow and get going quickly in the garden when the summer heats up. Try giving them some H2O and fertilizer. If you want bushier plants pinch out the stem a la Tracy Aust. Some of mine are perennialized here in Cincy--ours started blooming last week.

Does anyone have a pic of Zizzia? Heard the swallowtails liked it for a host plant....?

Thanks for all the pics.



Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Zizzia? Never heard of that one Michelle.
Eupatorium greggii does well here in South Ga.
I have it in clay next to a pond plus a little garden in my back yard. Heard though that it spreads like crazy. I may have to pull it out of the garden and put some on the NE end of the dry area of the pond gardens.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

I think I'm gonna try some Eupatorium greggii, sounds like a good butterfly plant. : )
Plant files says that High Country Gardens has it, but I can't find it on their site. Might be sold out, or discontinued.

~Lucy

This message was edited Jun 20, 2007 10:53 PM

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

BlueGlancer, want me to send you a start? It would probably fit in a bubbler envelop so it wouldn't cost too much.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

Sure : )
I don't have any bubble envelopes yet, but if you do, I would gladly reimburse you.
Thanks alot, Cdawg : )
~Lucy

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

The starter plant, Texas Mist Flower E. greggii, will be in the mail most likely tomorrow, Lucy.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

I just love getting presents in the mail. It's like Christmas, I have to hurry home and open it.
(Uh,......I'm lying. I usually open it at the P.O., and then hurry home) : )

~Lucy

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Me too! A nice change from bills!

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

Amen to that. : )

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)


Here is the description for Zizia aptura (Golden Alexander)--a host plant for the black swallowtail, so it says-- http://www.grownative.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=122

I think the advantage of it is that this plant is a fast grower and is still thriving when parsley and some of the other host plants are done in or the cats have eaten quickly through them--I don't really know first hand, I just saw this mentioned on the GW forum....

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Tabasco, Golden Alexander is on my list to buy -- along with a bunch of other things.
LOL!
http://www.prairienursery.com/store/index.php?main_page=mag_product_plant_info&products_id=284

It came up in this thread -- ya gotta read to the bottom

http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/732213/

Suzy

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

In reading your link, it's in the carrot family growing to zone 7. Wonder if I could get away with growing it in zone 8a with partial sun to part shade?.

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