News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today
MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007

Bright, fragrant gardens will attract butterflies

If you want butterflies and hummingbirds to come into your yard, plant brightly color, fragrant plants that will bloom all summer.

It works for Master Gardener Helen Debuty, president of the Morgan County group.

For her Decatur yard, “I try to find things that are going to bloom all summer, like perennial salvia and sage,” she said. Most people think of red salvia first, but it comes in a range of colors.

“I like scented flowers in bright colors, so I figure butterflies ought to, too,” she said. “Butterflies like tubular plants, because they go down in the tube to get the nectar.”

Because of the cool weather, not all the butterfly-attracting plants are blooming now, but Debuty showed her bright purple pincushion, Sweet William, pink Friesland salvia and yellow Jerusalem sage and said she’d seen some butterflies and hummingbirds already, though their prime season will be May or June to August or September.

They also like hollyhocks, jewel weed and flowering shrubs such as butterfly bush, lilac, spirea and viburnum.

Perennial nectar plants for the butterfly garden include coreopsis, heliopsis, lavender, ornamental oregano, phlox, pinks, purple coneflower, goldenrod, gloriosa daisy, daylily, butterfly weed, verbena and aster.

Annual nectar plants for the butterfly garden include Mexican sunflower, zinnia, cosmos, tropical milkweed, verbena, pentas, lantana, heliotrope, strawflower and statice.

Patrice Stewart

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