Plants hummingbirds, butterflies adore

  • Cheri Coby of Ingleside would love to create an oasis for butterflies and hummingbirds in her backyard.

    Cheri Coby of Ingleside would love to create an oasis for butterflies and hummingbirds in her backyard.

  • Milkweed, or Asclepias tuberosa, is essential because it is the main food source of monarchs.

    Milkweed, or Asclepias tuberosa, is essential because it is the main food source of monarchs. Photos Courtesy of Land Escapes Inc.

  • Black Night is commonly referred to as the butterfly bush.

    Black Night is commonly referred to as the butterfly bush.

  • Red Salvia attracts hummingbirds because it has a lot of nectar within the long, tubular flowers.

    Red Salvia attracts hummingbirds because it has a lot of nectar within the long, tubular flowers.

  • For or winter color and cover, consider boxwood Green Mountain.

    For or winter color and cover, consider boxwood Green Mountain.

 
By Cheri Coby of Ingleside
Posted6/16/2019 6:00 AM

I would love to create an oasis for butterflies and hummingbirds to come and enjoy a wide variety of colored flowers in my backyard. There should be milkweed and native plants, as well. It would have to be low maintenance because I have no green thumb when it comes to plants and flowers.

Design by Land Escapes Inc.

 

Expert: Dean Strom, landescapesinc.com

You asked for native, flowering, butterfly-attracting landscape ideas and I think you'll be off to a great start with these recommendations.

Budget: $3,000

Suggestions

• My favorite butterfly-attracting shrub is buddleia davidii Black Knight, commonly referred to as the butterfly bush. It has large, fragrant, deep purple blooms that last midsummer through fall. It is low maintenance, but your best bet is to prune this shrub way down in spring as blooms grow on new wood. It can handle full sun to partial shade and grows fairly large quickly, so give it about 6 feet of space.

• Echinacea, commonly know as the coneflower, is a native plant to our area and provides delicious food for caterpillars and butterflies to feast on. Echinacea has an array of colors and sizes but one of my favorites is purple coneflower. I suggest planting three to five of these.

• Monarch butterflies cannot survive without milkweed. If you plan to plant milkweed, you should put in at least six plants. Asclepias "tuberosa" is my pick. It's a vibrant orange that flowers most of the summer and can reach about 24 inches tall.

• For all summer color and food for the hummingbirds, try red Salvia. This flower attracts hummingbirds because it has a lot of nectar within the long, tubular flowers. It will also provide color all summer long.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn't consider the winter season when this wildlife is nowhere to be found and your landscape will look barren. Please incorporate ornamental grass in the landscape. It provides winter interest and food. You may also want to install an evergreen or two for winter color and cover for the animals. Green Mountain or Green Gem are great choices.

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