What do you suggest I plant in my woods to attract butterflies? Hummingbirds are attracted to the red artificial flowers I stuck among my green plants so I get to enjoy them.The Helpful Gardener wrote:MC's are one of the few species that overwinter (the ones butterfly houses are suppossed to be for, not that I've seen one in a house yet...) I have heard they used to overwinter in outhouses a lot, so we have destroyed valuable habitat...
My butterfly garden has (off the top of my head)
Liatris squarrosa var. nova angliae
Eupatorium rugosa 'Chocolate'
Panicum 'Cloud 9'
Ilex verticilata (bird sown)
Rubus spp. (bird sown)
Potentilla tridentata (sub-shrub, almost a perennial)
Has the best garden spot inthe yard; I've eyeballed it for veggies but I know what they need and can't bear to take it away...add a puddling bowl (sand in the bottom is a nice touch...) and I can watch them coming from down the block...
Thanks for such a quick reply. I will certainly make the effort in the little sunshine I have. It's amazing how well informed everyone is here in this gardening forum. Thanks!The Helpful Gardener wrote:Hey Rose,
Not too many woodland butterflies; skippers are the leaders there and very fond of Vaccinium (blueberries) and other woodland shrubs and flowers for nectaring, but their larval foods are mostly sedges and native violets. You Pennsylvania sedge would be a great call, mixed with those native violets and blueberries it would be perfect. Blue eyed grass would be a nice mix there as well...
Observe your local environs for other good suggestions...
Thanks, I will try them soon and hope to encourage those gorgeous little fellows to visit.rainbowgardener wrote:Butterfly plants for woods: cardinal flower and great blue lobelia (both lobelias) are beautiful shade tolerant native wild flowers that swallowtail, skippers, monarch and other butterflies like, as is wild columbine. Some butterflies like goatsbeard and virginia bluebells, also native woodland shade wildflowers. Butterfly weed, bee balm (monarda) and black eyed susan are all basically sun lovers but so hardy and vigorous that if your shade is not too deep, they may grow there, even if not quite as floriferous as in the sunshine. I have seen black eyed susan growing in woods edges. All of them are good butterfly plants (and the first two are also good humming bird plants). Violets are good for feeding butterfly larvae.