Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: I'm making a new butterfly garden!

Views: 390, Replies: 12 » Jump to the end
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Mar 4, 2020 6:49 AM CST
Hi guys, this is my first time posting here in this forum. I am usually on Tropicals, Hoyas and Aroids.
I am in Florida 9A and am making a butterfly garden. I have an absolutely huge space to fill. I want a wide variety of things, but not necessarily ANNUALS. I like to plant perennials and have them long term.
I have a very 'tropical' yard, as much as I can push in my zone. I have tons of hardy gingers like Hedychiums, Curcumas, COstus and Kaempheria that come back every year. I an mot looking to plant more Hedychiums in this space because I have them in close adjacent areas.

This is what I have done so far. I dug out about 20 old leggy out of control azalea bushes, and planted a 'foundation' last fall comprised of a Fiddle Leaf Fig, 2 Queen Palms that I am going to set a bench between, a Pygmy Date Palm, and a Bloodleaf Banana. Winter is almost over here, the average frost free date is next weekend, so I am ready to plant fill-ins. This is a long view of my space (in 2 shots)
Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/294f13


Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/0605c7
Yesterday, I bought a few more things and installed them....
An Ensete ventricosum Maurellii with a piece of interesting wood from the forest and a Neoregelia 'Fireball' bromeliad to scramble over it

Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/29eb32
Some Agapanthus for the shaded areas

Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/463f87


Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/c85304

3 Salvias around the base of the Bloodless banana, and a plumbago
Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/a4163f
A cluster of three Plumeria with two large Aechmea blanchettiana bromeliads and a small Ti plant (not 100% hardy here so I consolidated these where I could throw a frost cover over them if need be)

Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/b5e934
And I moved various starter clumps of bromeliads from other areas in the yard to start new stands for accent plants

Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/aa6c09


Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/f31cd6


Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/e2434b

I also have a lot of milkweed already started here.

What else would you suggest to really bring in the butterflies? I am considering a passiflora that I let climb up a small native tree in this space.

I don't want to plant ANY clerodendrons, I have 1000's of Pagoda plants in another space and they are totally invasive here.

I am going to a couple large garden festivals one the weekend of March 14 and the other the weekend after, there will be lots of opportunity to pick up some cool stuff....what would you recommend?

This is my space after my plantings yesterday....still really bare because its so large
Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/77ad13


Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/1f021f


Thumb of 2020-03-04/Gina1960/587e9e

Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Name: Sherri
Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Container Gardener Salvias Cactus and Succulents Native Plants and Wildflowers Adeniums Orchids
Image
sunkissed
Mar 4, 2020 7:46 AM CST
Gina, nice area to work with. I'm zone 9b and these are the butterfly, bee and hummingbird magnets in my garden, most are pretty cold hardy here, they've survived temps into the mid 20's, even if knocked to the ground the come back. None of these are invasive in my garden.

Pentas lanceolata - red tall the best and most hardy.
Odontonema strictum - Firespike, red and purple, purple much hardier in cold.
Firebush – Hamelia patens, this might be too cold sensitive for your zone, it does freeze to ground here under 32F, but always has come back.
Firecracker – Russelia sarmentosa - This attracts everything, always comes back after freezing. Hard to find, but did see some at Leu Garden's plant sale last year.
Leonotis leonurus - Lion's Ear
Stachytarpheta spp.Porterweed, I have coral.
Lonicera sempervirens Coral Honeysuckle
Passiflora incarnata
Lady Margaret passion vine – Passiflora, all passionflower but don't get Scarlet red one.
Lantana
Sweet almond (Aloysia virgata) This can freeze to ground but always comes back. I cut it back if it doesn't freeze. Smells so good.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Mar 4, 2020 7:52 AM CST
Thanks Sherri!!!!
I love Pentas and they are very common here in the garden centers but I don;t think I can use them....I actually planted 6 plants with the milkweed when I first put the palms in last fall and the deer ate EVERY ONE the very first night Confused I was so mad.

I will try some of those others!

I am hoping to go to the Leu Gardens sale on the 14th, then our Kanapaha fest is the next weekend. I could get a lot of what you listed at Lowes but want to hold out and see what's cooking at the sales. I also want to let this first wave gel for a couple weeks.

We are getting a cold front today/tomorrow, lots of rain forecast to help water in, then one night of 39-40 before it pops back up.
Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Bee Lover
Miamiu
Mar 4, 2020 9:45 AM CST
You might want to get more host plants for different types of butterflies. I only have milkweed right now. Lantanas are good porterweeds, salvia. The bumbles by me also like the gaillardias.
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
Image
gardenfish
Mar 4, 2020 9:57 AM CST
I know you probably don't want to fool with annuals, but there are no better butterfly nectar plants than zinnias. See pic below. Almost Eden plants has all the plants Sherri mentioned.... they have porterweed in a variety of sizes and colors. Any lantana that you would plant I think would be a perennial for you. Tall phlox is a butterfly magnet here, specially the swallowtails, I don't know if it is rated for your zone. There is one called orange perfection, tangerine colored, beautiful! When you go on the Almost Eden website there is a tab on the left to select butterfly plants, even lists the kinds of butterflies. If you're looking for host plants for the babies, check out monarchwatch.org.

Thumb of 2020-03-04/gardenfish/b7acb6
Thumb of 2020-03-04/gardenfish/2c34bd
Thumb of 2020-03-04/gardenfish/b7a380
Thumb of 2020-03-04/gardenfish/71965e
Thumb of 2020-03-04/gardenfish/b42460
Thumb of 2020-03-04/gardenfish/8e82ab

“ Be kind whenever possible”
14th Dalai Lama
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
crawgarden
Mar 4, 2020 10:19 AM CST
Wild White Indigo Baptisia Lacta (Alba)

Rattlesnake master Eryngium yuccifolium

Wild Lupine Lupinus perennis

Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata

Common Boneset Eupatorium perfollatum

Blue (Swamp) Vervain Verbena hastata

Culvers's Root Veronicastrum virginicum

Read that willows will support 335 different caterpillars
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
Image
gardenfish
Mar 4, 2020 3:33 PM CST
Rj, you are the first person that I've seen that mentioned rattlesnake Master. It grows wild here. All your pics are great native plants! Thumbs up
“ Be kind whenever possible”
14th Dalai Lama
Name: Sherri
Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Container Gardener Salvias Cactus and Succulents Native Plants and Wildflowers Adeniums Orchids
Image
sunkissed
Mar 5, 2020 7:08 AM CST
Gina1960 said:Thanks Sherri!!!!
I love Pentas and they are very common here in the garden centers but I don;t think I can use them....I actually planted 6 plants with the milkweed when I first put the palms in last fall and the deer ate EVERY ONE the very first night Confused I was so mad.

I will try some of those others!

I am hoping to go to the Leu Gardens sale on the 14th, then our Kanapaha fest is the next weekend. I could get a lot of what you listed at Lowes but want to hold out and see what's cooking at the sales. I also want to let this first wave gel for a couple weeks.

We are getting a cold front today/tomorrow, lots of rain forecast to help water in, then one night of 39-40 before it pops back up.


Gina, thanks for the reminder of the Kanapaha Spring show, I missed it last year. I'll be at Leu Garden's 8AM the 14th, I'm a member so I can get in an hour early...parking is a pain there, lots of back streets but be prepared to walk a distance to the gardens, wear good walking shoes. I usually leave by noon.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Mar 5, 2020 7:30 AM CST
I'll see if I get to go....my gurlz will be here part of their Spring Break, its up in the air when they are leaving. It looks like I will be going on the lonesome I I do go, hubby out of town. Probably better that way....I get more looking time. DO they allow pets??????
Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Name: Sherri
Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Container Gardener Salvias Cactus and Succulents Native Plants and Wildflowers Adeniums Orchids
Image
sunkissed
Mar 5, 2020 7:48 AM CST
Gina1960 said:I'll see if I get to go....my gurlz will be here part of their Spring Break, its up in the air when they are leaving. It looks like I will be going on the lonesome I I do go, hubby out of town. Probably better that way....I get more looking time. DO they allow pets??????


No pets allowed, even when no special events. I took my husband once, never again... Whistling PM me if you do go, we can meet up and say Hi.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Mar 5, 2020 7:57 AM CST
Cool! I will!
Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Rochester, MN (Zone 4b)
Image
zxcvbob
Mar 6, 2020 8:27 AM CST
Tithonia "Torch" really brings them in, and it should do well there. You might also check out Joe Pye Weed; it's a hardy perennial but I don't know if it will grow in your climate. (both of these are *big* plants and need a lot of room)

Also zinnias (make sure it's a variety that has a disk in the center) tall celosias, purpletop vervain (Verbena bonariensis.)
Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Bee Lover
Miamiu
Mar 6, 2020 11:05 AM CST
I am growing Mexican sunflower from seed this year.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Lestv and is called "Orange Punch"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.