Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: What plants in your garden attracts the most butterflies?

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Aug 10, 2016 4:12 AM CST
Hi, I love butterflies and have found in my garden they seem to enjoy the coneflowers.

I also planted a packet of zinna this Spring. The swallowtail have had a feast on them the last few weeks. It is fun to see several at a time! I would love to see what does well to attract them in your garden.

Thank you,

Teresa in KY
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Aug 10, 2016 5:26 AM CST
I think it would have to be my butterfly bush. I get all kinds of different ones on it, including some sphinx moths. I can't seem to grow coneflowers here.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Aug 10, 2016 6:29 AM CST
I planted a butterfly bush last Fall. I will be glad when it gets taller. I am hoping it will attract more then Hurray!
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Birds Spiders! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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nativeplantlover
Aug 10, 2016 8:30 AM CST
Hi Teresa,
Isn't it exciting and relaxing to see who shows up in your garden? In my experience, the best way to get and KEEP them is to be certain to provide lots of host plants as well as a big assortment of nectar plants to give them variety, that way they come to dine at your house as both caterpillars and adults. We'd prefer a loaded buffet ourselves, right? nodding Host plants on your property will help to insure that small colonies will make your place a permanent home. If any caterpillar habitat nearby your garden is taken away- for example a field or wooded area is razed for a housing development- then there go all your beautiful butterflies!! Our winged beauties have to start life children first. LOL- If you "own" your caterpillars, you wont need to "rent" your butterflies. Pollinator partnership has a super guide with lists of best suggestions for your area, just plug in your zip code:
http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm
Here's some eye candy on my fav plants for nectar and leaves
Thumb of 2016-08-10/nativeplantlover/ba5291
Monarch cat on Butterfly Milkweed plant

Fritillary cat on wild violets
Thumb of 2016-08-10/nativeplantlover/6d6986
Black Swallowtail on Rue

And here's is the gorgeous outcome in order:
Thumb of 2016-08-10/nativeplantlover/0b9ca1
Thumb of 2016-08-10/nativeplantlover/9b6d7e
Thumb of 2016-08-10/nativeplantlover/2aaa8c

"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger

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