The Q&A Archives: garden areas

Question: I would like to plant an area of my garden (4' x8')for butterflys. What would be the best plants for this area? I would also like to plant cutting flowers. Again, best plants? Southwest Florida, sandy soil.

Answer: You will attract the most butterflies if you plant Florida native plants including Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed), Asimina reticulata (Flatwoods Pawpaw), Bidens alba var. radiata (Spanish Needles), Hamelia patens (Firebush), Phyla nodiflora (Carpetweed) , Prunus umbellata (Flatwoods Plum), Vaccinium myrsinites (Shiny-leaved Blueberry, Pentas, Buddleia or Butterfly Bush, Heliotrope, Tithonia or Mexican Sunflower, Zinnias and moss verbena. They will also be attracted to a cutting garden if you use disc or ray type flowers or those with large flower clusters. For a comprehensive guide on attracting butterflies, check out a publication from Florida State University:

Good luck with your butterfly garden!

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