Keep up to date with

Special Gift Offer
URL:
http://www.gardengatemagazine.com/articles/flowers-plants/bird-butterfly-friendly/4-combos-butterflies-love/
Share:

4 combos butterflies love

By: Garden Gate staff
Bring in more butterflies when you grow plant combinations they love.

Butterflies can take any garden from plain old pretty to downright magical. But you don’t have to cast spells to bring them to your yard — you just have to know the right tricks!

The easiest way to attract butterflies is to choose the right plants. Butterfly bush and butterfly weed are two of the most popular choices. (After all, they have “butterfly” right there in their names!) But did you know that yarrow, coneflower and bee balm attract butterflies as well? All of these plants offer nectar, butterflies’ main source of food.

Below, we’ll show you some of our favorite butterfly-attracting plant combos and help you design the perfect butterfly habitat. Read on, and in no time you’ll have a butterfly garden.

For more tips on how to design the perfect butterfly habitat, read our article Five ways to bring more butterflies into your garden.

A grand display

If you have the room, grow large shrubs and plant flowers in wide drifts for late-summer appeal. Not only will you attract lots of butterflies, but they’ll all be able to dine at the same time. Cut butterfly bush back to the ground each winter to keep it in shape and encourage lots of blooms. Coneflower’s seedheads add winter interest and provide food for goldfinches.

A) Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’)
Size 6 to 8 ft. tall, 4 to 6 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 5 to 9, heat zones 9 to 2

B) Tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium)
Size 4 ft. tall, 1 ft. wide Light Full sun to part shade Hardiness Cold zones 4 to 10, heat zones 9 to 1

C) Purple coneflower(Echinacea purpurea)
Size 2 to 5 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 3 to 8, heat zones 8 to 1

Double duty

Look for plant combinations that multitask. This pair offers a much-needed punch of color to a fall garden; it also provides loads of nectar to hungry butterflies late in the season. Treat starflower as an annual in zones colder than 12, and cut back goldenrod by half in late spring to keep it from getting leggy.

A) Starflower (Pentas lanceolata)
Size 15 to 18 in. tall, 18 in. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 12 to 15, heat zones 12 to 1

B) Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)
Size 1 to 5 ft. tall, 2 to 4 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 4 to 9, heat zones 9 to 1

Heat up

Butterflies don’t have a favorite color, so go ahead and choose a garden palette that appeals to you. Butterfly weed is a source of food for both caterpillars and adult butterflies. Pair it with feverfew for a warm-hued display from late spring to late summer.

A) Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Size 1 to 3 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 3 to 9, heat zones 9 to 3

B) Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
Size 12 in. tall, 12 to 18 in. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 5 to 10, heat zones 9 to 1

Pretty pom-pons

Flower shapes don’t always have to contrast. Pair opium poppy and bee balm for a well-rounded midsummer look. Deadheading this garden will encourage the bee balm to rebloom and stop the poppy from reseeding everywhere. Both plants will draw butterflies.

A) Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum)
Size 3 to 5 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Annual, heat zones 12 to 1

B) Bee balm (Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’)
Size 2 to 3 ft. tall and wide Light Full sun to light shade Hardiness Cold zones 4 to 9, heat zones 9 to 1

A grand display

If you have the room, grow large shrubs and plant flowers in wide drifts for late-summer appeal. Not only will you attract lots of butterflies, but they’ll all be able to dine at the same time. Cut butterfly bush back to the ground each winter to keep it in shape and encourage lots of blooms. Coneflower’s seedheads add winter interest and provide food for goldfinches.

A) Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’)
Size 6 to 8 ft. tall, 4 to 6 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 5 to 9, heat zones 9 to 2

B) Tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium)
Size 4 ft. tall, 1 ft. wide Light Full sun to part shade Hardiness Cold zones 4 to 10, heat zones 9 to 1

C) Purple coneflower(Echinacea purpurea)
Size 2 to 5 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 3 to 8, heat zones 8 to 1

Heat up

Butterflies don’t have a favorite color, so go ahead and choose a garden palette that appeals to you. Butterfly weed is a source of food for both caterpillars and adult butterflies. Pair it with feverfew for a warm-hued display from late spring to late summer.

A) Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Size 1 to 3 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 3 to 9, heat zones 9 to 3

B) Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
Size 12 in. tall, 12 to 18 in. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 5 to 10, heat zones 9 to 1

Double duty

Look for plant combinations that multitask. This pair offers a much-needed punch of color to a fall garden; it also provides loads of nectar to hungry butterflies late in the season. Treat starflower as an annual in zones colder than 12, and cut back goldenrod by half in late spring to keep it from getting leggy.

A) Starflower (Pentas lanceolata)
Size 15 to 18 in. tall, 18 in. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 12 to 15, heat zones 12 to 1

B) Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)
Size 1 to 5 ft. tall, 2 to 4 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Cold zones 4 to 9, heat zones 9 to 1

Pretty pom-pons

Flower shapes don’t always have to contrast. Pair opium poppy and bee balm for a well-rounded midsummer look. Deadheading this garden will encourage the bee balm to rebloom and stop the poppy from reseeding everywhere. Both plants will draw butterflies.

A) Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum)
Size 3 to 5 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide Light Full sun Hardiness Annual, heat zones 12 to 1

B) Bee balm (Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’)
Size 2 to 3 ft. tall and wide Light Full sun to light shade Hardiness Cold zones 4 to 9, heat zones 9 to 1

Related Tags

butterflies garden-design plant-combos

Related Articles


You Might Also Like…