July 27, 2013

My Best Butterfly Plants for Summer

Everybody has been anxiously awaiting the summer influx of butterflies. They are a little late because, I guess, of the rains. Every day I am seeing a few more numbers and an occasional newcomer not spotted before this season.

At first glance I thought he was just another Tiger. Then I saw the black on his back and the lines of gold that distinguish a Black Swallowtail. The size gives him away, too. Tithonia was his nectar of choice.

Yellow Lantana is late getting started but this Checkerspot found it.

Pipevine Swallowtails are finding Pentas galore. The tall pinks and reds are their favorites but they find white Pentas to be good nectaring, too.

We're seeing Pipevines and Spicebush Swallowtails nectaring on the same plants.

Except for one plant that did not die back in winter,
Duranta is slow to bloom. This Gulf Frit found
the blooming one.

Pride of Barbados is blooming and Esperanza has commenced again.

I see Swallowtails visiting the Petunia patch but not in great numbers.

The best Butterfly attractions here at this time are

  1. Tithonia
  2. Pentas
  3. Lantana
  4. Pride of Barbados
Approaching fall, Pineapple Sage, Salvia leucantha and Duranta attract butterflies as well. Plantings for butterflies also provide nectar for hummingbirds. This morning I saw one on Tithonia and later on Pentas, happily sipping alongside butterflies.

Pentas and Pineapple Sage need carrying over winter as cuttings. I rooted more white Lantana for the bed on the south side of the greenhouse. Tithonia reseeds if you pull up the frost-killed plants and lay them with the seed heads where you want next year's plants to grow.

What are your best butterfly plants? 


Janie Jurkiewicz said...

The zinnia have been the most popular...the hummingbirds like them too.

NellJean said...

I saw a Buckeye yesterday and a Red Spotted Purple. They're coming in greater numbers every day.

Margaret Thele said...

I love the pics! You must be a patient photographer to capture all those beautiful butterflies...either that or the garden is swarming with them!

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