sorry-butterfly bushes again....


Old 02-26-01, 06:00 PM
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sorry, i forgot to mention. i do have a sunny strip down my driveway, but the soil is the same. could i plant them there?
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Old 02-26-01, 07:31 PM
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Hi zone 7!

Butterfly bushes are really large - like small trees, unless you prune them way back every year.

They are also listed as a noxious weed in some parts of the country, although I forget where. I don't think they'll go nuts on your property like Wisteria, but I guess they're spreading into uncultivated areas.

If you like butterflies (I love attracting them!) I think that perennials are the better way to go. There are a lot more perennials than shrubs for butterflies. Any flower that has a tube will attract them (their long tongues go into them). I have different salvias (red and blue ones), mint, Monarda didyma (bee balm) and cleomes (OK, so those are an annual but they seed and come back that way). I don't have Asclepias tuberosa, but that one is fantastic (It's even called butterfly weed). I'm trying to get more natives rather than exotics so that I can be in better balance, but it's a slow process on a grad student's salary (and time)! Both the Monarda and Asclepias are natives. There are lots of others, too. I designed a butterfly garden for a class and these are some that I used:
Asclepias tuberosa (comes in red and yellow varieties), Cimifuga racemosa (bugbane), Eupatorium coelestinum, Eupatorium fistulosum, Eupatorium perfolatum, Lobelia siphilitica, Monarda didyma, Monarda fistulosa, Phlox divaricata, Salvia lyrata, Solidago (goldnenrods, any will work), and Veronicastrum virginicum. All these are native to the US. The site was in D.C., but I think it will work where you live. There are lots of others, check for butterfly garden web sites. The nice thing about butterfly perennials is that something is always blooming, and I get a lot of hummingbirds, too!

Oh - Passiflora incarnata is also a good plant, from the standpoint that it is a host for Fritillary larvae although they do mangle the leaves on mine! I get the feeling like I'm getting more larvae than most, however. Also, the flowers are amazing!


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