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just 4 butterflies :)

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:53 pm
by GardenGeek

Guys I have an arbor and i am wanting to grow something that is beneficial to hummers and butterflies. I would like to plant sweet peas on it but have not read anywhere that they attract butterflies.
Any ideas? or something else that charms butter flies

Thanks in advance for suggestions :)

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:10 pm
by The Helpful Gardener
[url=]Aristolochia spp[/url]., or Dutchman's pipe, is a very leafy vine that is a well known larval food to many butterflies throughout the world, and there are native types for most of the U.S. The blue and black pipevine swallowtails are entirely reliant on this plant for their larval food source.

But a [url=]lovely leafy green cover[/url]for an arbor with HUGE butterfly values... you could mix in [url=]morning glories[/url]as well...


Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:35 am
by GeorgiaGirl
Ahh, I clicked this post expecting to see four photos of butterflies! :D

HG, do you find Dutchman's pipe to be invasive? I'm having the darndest time getting rid of the morning glory that eats alive all my front beds every year. I love the look of them and the butterflies do indeed love them too, but that thing snakes around everything in sight. I'm wondering if Dutchman's pipe might be a less invasive substitute (if I can ever finally tear out all the dang morning glory).

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:34 am
by The Helpful Gardener
I find pipevine not so much an invasive issue. I do find Morning Glory to be pretty weedy but glorious for butterflies. I will note I showed a picture of a bush type... :wink:


Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:44 pm
by applestar
Hummingbirds love Scarlet Runner beans, Purple Podded Pole beans, Cardinal Flower, Red Cypress Vine, Scarlet Honeysuckle vine.

In my area, Scarlet Honeysuckle starts flowering in early summer, Pole beans in mid summer with others joining in late summer until frost.

HG's Aristolochia is a cool idea and I've toyed with it. I would LOVE to have Pipevine Swallowtails in my garden, but I still haven't decided: I heard that some people think the flowers smell bad, and I have a thing for fragrant (as in *nice* smelling) flowers. I may still grow them (they always have this vine at the Bowman's Native Plant sale) along the back fence....

I'm *hopefully* growing [url=]Blue Vine milkweed[/url] from seed this year (thanks to biwa) for Monarch butterfly larval food. The multiflowered blossoms should attract nectaring butterflies too.

Oh, yes. Moonflower vine is a morning glory like vine with huge white flowers that open in the evening and through the night emit this GLORIOUS fragrance. Attracts giant nectaring moths like Luna moth. Seeds should be started early and then planted out after frost.

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:54 pm
by rainbowgardener
Applestar's is a good hummingbird vine list, also trumpet creeper (but be sure your arbor is very solid, the trumpet creeper will get huge!)

Butterflies also like the scarlet honeysuckle vine. They also like passionflower, climbing aster, sweet autumn clematis.

I have a dutchman's pipe vine that I planted in the shade of a big tree, thinking it would climb the tree. It turns out not to be a vine that has any way of hanging on to a tree, it wants something thin to curl around. It is surviving and getting bigger each year, but not totally thriving and has never flowered. I think too much shade. Definitely in my situation not invasive!

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:23 pm
by applestar
You could always tack a trellis netting to the tree. I did that with a tree next to the mailbox and it worked out great.

And PASSIONFLOWER vines! Definitely, especially if you're in the freeze-free regions. I'm dying to get my hands on P. incarnata, which is the only variety I know of that is perennial in my area. There is a farmer's market that sells wonderful selections of spring plants. 2yrs ago I saw very healthy-looking passionflwers but had already exceeded my budget elsewhere, so I was eager to buy a pair (you need male and female for fruiting) last spring. I was ever so disappointed to hear that the "boys failed in the greenhouse" and she didn't have any. She did promise that she'll have them this coming spring, so we'll see. 8) I recall that it's a larval host for several kinds of butterflies, but I'm not sure if any of them live around here. Wait... OK here we go:

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:02 pm
by GardenGeek
Thanks guys for all the information you provided. It was indeed helpful.