Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Butterfly Bush/Invasive Species

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Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
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Garden10
Apr 4, 2017 6:07 PM CST
Once again, this may not be any big deal, but it is to me and wanted to share. I ended up at the site for Spring Hill Nurseries, never been there before, because I was hunting down a Kong Coleus, and they had one I wanted. So I was naturally looking around and I saw this: Kaleidescope Butterfly Bush. Is this a commonly-known thing among people who know what they're doing? It's supposed to get huge. I just saw it and fell in love, so I imagine the butterflies and the alleged hummingbirds will like it too.


Thumb of 2017-04-05/Garden10/c17d3a

This is getting to be like crack, I've got to get a grip, but when they sent me my order acknowledgment, they sent me a voucher for FREE SHIPPING!! D'Oh!

"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Bookworm
Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
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mellielong
Apr 4, 2017 7:45 PM CST
Butterfly bush is considered invasive in about 20 states. I think it's a particular problem in the Pacific Northwest. I've heard a lot of the cultivars are sterile, but I won't chance it. Native plants tend to draw in pollinators better since they've developed a relationship over millions of years.
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
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Garden10
Apr 5, 2017 7:12 AM CST
What an appropriate forum for a buzz-kill!!!!!!!

Three cheers to Spring Hill Nurseries for letting me switch this out for a limelight hydrangea; and three cheers to Jung, because although neither butterfly bush nor burning bush is outlawed in NY State, it's on their wishlist to do so, and I had six of them on order from Jung that they let me cancel.

Thanks for telling me mellie, but I kind of get the feeling you enjoyed doing so more than you should have ! Hilarious!
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Morgan
IL (Zone 5b)
Winter Sowing Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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molanic
Apr 5, 2017 9:29 AM CST
I'm aware of the growing problem with butterfly bushes, but I still have three of them. *Blush* There is a reason they are so popular, they're like butterfly crack. I have lots of natives that are the most recommended for butterflies: joe pye weed, asters, milkweeds, goldenrods, echinacea, etc. They still like the butterfly bushes the best by far though. So I keep them and dead head them regularly all summer and fall. The seeds don't mature as easily here as the warmer states, but I still cut off every flower head before it even finishes blooming. They go in the compost and I haven't seen any seedlings sprouting yet. If I move I would most likely dig them out because very few people would bother to dead head them I think. I doubt my individual actions really have much of an impact though considering how popular they are in the nursery trade.

They are a guilty pleasure I guess. I do feel a little shameful when I post butterfly sightings online and they are almost all on the butterfly bushes.... especially when I promote native plantings. *Blush*

FYI, if you're planning on adding a lot of plants think about joining one of the fall seed swaps here. Newbies are welcome and can join with just a few seeds to offer, but can get a ton back in return. Many of us offer up native seeds to share in the swaps. Growing from seed is way cheaper than buying plants, and you get a much better selection to choose from. Swapping seeds is a lot cheaper than buying them also. A lot of us use the goof-proof wintersowing method to start seeds, which is ideal for natives and would work great in NY.
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Garden10
Apr 5, 2017 11:50 AM CST
Oh Morgan, you hypocrite, you savage, you sad, nasty excuse for a gardener and butterfly fan, how COULD YOU!!
Rolling on the floor laughing

You don't have to justify squat -- I changed my order because mellie knows more than I do, and the State of NY agrees with her. Getting the limelight hydrangea in its stead was not a compromise or a hardship -- I had been looking for one when I ordered from Jung, and they didn't have them anymore, so I got the three Vanilla Strawberry ones, and now I'll have this. The butterflies and bees and even a few birds adored the one I had back at the other house, so between these three and the other plantings I have planned, this place is going to be the butterfly/bee equivalent of a Roman vomitorium.

I disagree with you on one point: I firmly believe that all of our individual actions have an impact. But there are a lot of larger questions about invasive species -- I mean, how many crops are enjoyed in Europe and here, for example, that were not native to Europe or here? The thing is, we've been so arrogant and irresponsible with the planet, it's going to take a lot of rocking back and forth before we achieve the correct balance. And I can think of a WHOLE LOT of other things to get furious about that don't even come close to your butterfly bushes!! Smiling

As for the seed swap, harvesting seeds and growing with seeds is so far beyond me at this point, but thank you. You already know that if I get any sunflowers this year, they're going to issue a stamp, don't expect so much from me!!
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Bookworm
Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
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mellielong
Apr 5, 2017 12:09 PM CST
Not trying to harsh anyone's mellow here, just educating. If I had dollar for every time someone told me I should be a teacher... Sighing!

It's always good to check and see if your state has an invasive species list. Florida has a lot of problems with invasives because we don't tend to get cold enough for things to die back, we've made some big mistakes in the past like planting trees to "dry up" the Everglades, and we get a lot of illicit trade coming through our ports. We ended up with a pet Old World Veiled Chameleon because my brother saw it crossing the road. Rolling my eyes. Now, he probably would have frozen to death, but not everything does, which is why iguanas and pythons are running around South Florida.

I try to look for plants that really enrich my yard and try to recreate what would have grown here before there were houses. I'm not a strictly all-native person, but they sure do make gardening a lot easier!
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Garden10
Apr 5, 2017 12:21 PM CST
I was teasing you, if I didn't want to learn things, I wouldn't have joined up!

I did print out the list of native species here, but most of what they provided are trees, and that's not where I'm looking. There are also a lot of grasses and ground covers, but I am terrified of snakes, and I'm as uninterested in providing cover for them as I am in seeding my lawn. Butterfly bush and burning bush are on their wishlist; apparently, they want NY's official list to mimic Massachusetts' and they are included there, but don't quote me, I was in a hurry to see if I could change my orders and didn't double-check.

I know what's going on in Florida and all the stupid things that have been done to mess with the Everglades; it is a real concern. I always think about Guam and those snakes that invaded and overran the entire island. A few years ago, they dropped dead mice stuffed with poison from planes to try and kill them off, and I never found out what happened. Imagine going to potter in your garden THERE!

"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Apr 6, 2017 6:50 AM CST
Thumb of 2017-04-06/crawgarden/25925c
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Florida hunters catch massive 15-foot Burmese python
Posted By Deanna Ferrante on Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 1:07 pm
PHOTO VIA NICHOLAS BANOS/FACEBOOK
Photo via Nicholas Banos/Facebook
Last weekend, two South Florida men captured a 144-pound, 15-foot-long python, which is roughly the size of three Danny DeVitos.

According to WSVN, the two snake hunters, Nicholas Banos and Leonardo "PythonKing" Sanchez, captured and killed python last Saturday, April 1, in the Everglades as part of the new program that hired hunters to control the spread of these invasive species.

Banos and Sanchez were driving down a dirt road in the national park when Sanchez spotted the snake out of the car window. The hunters managed to catch the python by the tail before it could escape and wrestle into a bag.

The South Florida Water Management District announced last month that it was hiring 25 python hunters for a 60-day pilot program to help rid the Everglades of the pythons.


The goal of the pilot program is to kill as many pythons as possible, but Banos told WSVN that he has mixed feelings about hurting the snakes.

"We hunt to remove. ... But having to kill it was a little rough for us. We've never really had to do that before," he says. "It was satisfying, but it was also a feeling of a little bit of heartbreak."

The hunters in the program receive a minimum wage salary and at least $50 for every 4-foot snake killed, plus an extra $25 for every extra foot.

Since the snake Banos and Sanchez caught was 15 feet long, they'll receive a payday of $325 for this catch.


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: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Garden10
Apr 6, 2017 2:58 PM CST
Gee, thanks for posting that Rj, I understand a good night's sleep is overrated anyway...there has to be an easier way to earn $325.

If you folks notice, through the help and indulgence of CalifSue, I changed the title of this thread to more accurately reflect its contents, its transition from a joyous sharing of a wonderful discovery to the bleak and despairing admonition of mellie (just make a cup of tea and relax, I'll get tired of this pretty soon Big Grin )

Seriously, I thought this would be a good place to discuss this subject, at least in relation to butterflies, birds and bees. I've continued to do a little research and found out that the Japanese Barberry I inherited on the side of the house is not only considered invasive, but a holiday camp for ticks. I've hated them since I was a kid because they scratch the daylights out of you, so I won't weep at digging that out. I also found out spirea is invasive in this area, which floored me -- the house I grew up in was ringed on three sides by spirea, I loved them, especially in the fall when the leaves turned to flame. Funny thing, spirea and burning bush are the two I've found so far that I've owned, yet I never remember seeing any seedling from any of them. But Rose of Sharon? Holy hatrack, that's one thing I don't miss about the garden I left behind, they were a weed that I couldn't possibly control. But I guess they're native (and the bees were nuts for them!)

I received an email from White Flower Farm today with a subject line about butterflies and hummingbirds, and they're pushing butterfly bushes, so that made up my mind to ask Sue if she could and would change this, I think places are using our garden friends to get us to plant things that maybe we shouldn't be planting, and if anyone wants to check on anything, this thread will pop up in a search, and everyone can add to it and ask questions. Shrug!
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
central Arkansas - zone 8a/7b (Zone 7b)
Butterflies
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Myles
Apr 7, 2017 9:34 AM CST
There are butterfly bushes and butterfly bushes. Aren't a lot of the newer varieties sterile? I grow two of the smaller, newer varieties and one old variety, White Profusion. Personally, I have never seen a seedling of a butterfly bush in my garden in all the years I've grown them. I do usually dead head to help encourage new blooms but there are always a few spent blooms I can't reach and remain on the plants. Also, I don't usually trim the last growth of the year until the following spring. Seems like a seed dropped from these last bloom heads would have germinated at least once through the years. These plants produce some of the best nectar blooms I have. The butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators flock to the blooms. I would hate to be without them but would remove them if I thought they were destructive to my environment. In my area, they have proved to be a wonderful addition to my butterfly garden and behave very well for me.

On the other hand, ask me about Rose of Sharon. Rolling on the floor laughing These plants are some of the most easily spread plants by seed I've ever encountered. I've pulled hundreds of seedlings and cut back umpteen new plants started from seed scattered in my garden via the neighbors Rose of Sharon plants. Now that plant I can do without. Sighing!

Myles Thumbs up
.... gardening primarily for the butterflies and pollinators
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Garden10
Apr 7, 2017 10:48 AM CST
Thanks for posting, Myles, this is exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping for. You know, we are at such a critical time for our planet, and a lot of the decisions we make on every level will have consequences, one way or the other, and so many times, we don't have discussions of our experiences, and we don't ask questions -- I don't know if it's me or what, but I've found that today, asking a question implies a criticism, so it's very hard to ask something a lot of times. That holds us all back. I deferred to Mellie because she not only knows a lot, but I know practically nothing, about gardening, butterfly issues in particular. A lot of research I did following that backed it up. Some didn't. There are supposed to be sterile butterfly bushes, but a lot of scholarship doesn't trust that. Considering some of the sleight of hand we've seen with the sale of a lot of these plants, you can understand that. Morgan hasn't had any trouble with butterfly bushes, either. And as I said, I never had a problem with spirea reproducing or burning bush. But burning bush has turned into a favorite for mall parking lot and corporate landscaping, and that makes me suspicious -- at least in Jersey, those landscape companies do not have what's best for the environment on any list.

I think Rose of Sharon isn't considered invasive because it doesn't hurt anything else except human kind, I know it was gunning for me! Big Grin

I'm still not allowed to post links, so if anyone would like to post the link to their state's list of invasive species, I think it would be a big help! Smiling

"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Morgan
IL (Zone 5b)
Winter Sowing Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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molanic
Apr 7, 2017 12:04 PM CST
These are not links to invasive species per say, but can be helpful for looking up plants. You can lookup a plant in the plants database of the USDA or BONAP (Biota of North America Program) to see a map of where it is considered native or introduced to the wild in the US. Keep in mind the varying definitions of what is really "native" too. I've heard the BONAP one is better, but the site is a little confusing to navigate. I find it easier to just Google a plant name along with the keyword "bonap" to find the map.

BONAP
http://www.bonap.org
USDA site
https://plants.usda.gov/java/


You can see that there are some spireas that are native if you like them and would prefer a native.
http://bonap.net/NAPA/TaxonMap...
Color key to maps.
http://www.bonap.org/MapKey.ht...

Here's the one for the butterfly bushes. I think all the garden varieties are Buddleja davidii. So I think blue is introduced and shows where it has been documented in the wild and pink is where it is considered invasive. That map is from 2014 though. Seems like there should be a lot more blue in the south at least?
http://bonap.net/MapGallery/Co...

Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
Apr 7, 2017 12:40 PM CST
I'm a huge fan of native plants because (a.) the deer don't usually eat them, (b.) the butterflies and bees actually recognize them as larval host/nectar plants, and (c.) almost every plant that isn't native or adapted just pukes and dies. I do try to steer clear of any invasive species, although I've made some mistakes in the past. I planted some Alamo Vine seeds that I gathered at a local mission, and it turned out to be worse than kudzu. Seventeen years later I'm still pulling up seedlings. I guess the only way I'll ever get rid of it is to move...... Whistling
GrammaChar
Name: Julie
Seattle (Zone 8a)
Birds Hummingbirder Region: Pacific Northwest
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Joolie
Apr 7, 2017 1:49 PM CST
@molanic If you sheet mulch the area right around the butterfly bush every winter, it's a great backup in case you ever miss any sneaky seed pods. I'm in WA state so butterfly bushes are RIGHT OUT... I'm jealous of those who can have them, since like you say, so many amazing photos of butterflies are on those delightful gorgeous blossoms. Also lantana. So invasive, so attractive to butterflies. Arrrrgh.

I'm consoling myself with a lot of host plants this year, and going to try giving butterflies a nice place to puddle, with lots of minerals.

Here's the link to the USDA's invasive species information center. You can click on your state and get the low down on what not to plant (no matter how pretty! Crying ) https://www.invasivespeciesinf...

Edit: Woops, that's the top-level link. Here's the one specific to plants, not ALL species of all kinds: https://plants.usda.gov/java/n...
[Last edited by Joolie - Apr 7, 2017 1:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Garden10
Apr 7, 2017 3:24 PM CST
Wow, thank you folks, this is a great start. I did manage to identify the kind of spiraea we had, it was Spiraea Japonica, it's invasive, and one of those maps said it's been eradicated from Jersey. I think I know who helped it. The clown who bought the house from me; I drove by there a couple of months after the closing, and they had all been pulled up and dumped, and not replaced with anything. You know it didn't have anything to do with being invasive; this was 15 years ago, and the realtor had said that no one wanted property that had to be maintained, so get rid of landscaping.Of course, I didn't. You had to see what they did to the noble sycamore in the back yard, mangled it so they wouldn't have to rake leaves. Speaking of invasive species...some of them buy houses when they should be living in apartments.
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
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GrammaChar
Apr 7, 2017 3:40 PM CST
Amen to your last sentence. Because you're new, you missed my earlier rant about the people who bought the acreage next to mine. They proceeded to bring in bobcats and knocked down almost all the trees. The cedar I could understand, but they took out the persimmons, elms, agarita, and prickly pear cactus. It used to be a beautiful wildlife habitat (including a fox den). Now it looks like scorched earth - literally. The brush fires burned for days. I cried. Eight months later and they've planted three skinny peach trees - on four acres. Pitiful. They should have stayed in town!
GrammaChar
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Garden10
Apr 7, 2017 6:01 PM CST
Oh Gramma, that's awful, I'm so sorry...there has to be a special place in hell for people like that. I actually experienced the kids' table version of that -- elderly neighbor had been in her house for maybe fifty years, fantastic gardener, beautiful property, pear tree, lilacs, she ended up having the bank on the main street extend their parking lot next to her house by knocking down the house next to her, then that wasn't enough. Her kid left her to rot in the house, stopped all maintenance, and she lived in squalor with dementia until she finally died; it turned out the bank had given a reverse mortgage and they took the property and violated every zoning law and regulation by paying off everyone, I ended up living through illegal demolition (OSHA, what's OSHA??), construction, fighting all alone against these bloated, evil snakes -- there wasn't anyone to help, in Jersey, corruption makes kudzu look like a windowsill herb. I had to sell the house, I shared a 123 ft. border with the stink from the cars, the lights that were in direct violation of the ordinance shining in my windows, the noise, the leaf blowers at 6:30 am when the ordinance said they couldn't be used until 8. And the kicker was, I was the bad guy. And all I could think was, hey Joni, they paved paradise, put up a parking lot. Grumbling
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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GrammaChar
Apr 7, 2017 7:20 PM CST
One of my all-time favorite songs. I may be old, but I got to see all the good bands!

But yes, they call it 'progress'. Sometimes I think we're progressing steadily hell ward.
I feel your pain.
GrammaChar
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Heucheras Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Hemlady
Apr 8, 2017 9:16 AM CST
Very interesting reads here. I have had a Butterfly Bush and a Rose of Sharon for over 15 years and have never had either one as much as send up one seedling. I think they are both sterile.
Lighthouse Gardens
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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GrammaChar
Apr 8, 2017 9:47 AM CST
I have flame acanthus bushes that throw seeds everywhere. I call them Fertile Myrtles.
GrammaChar

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