May 2018 Newsletter: Plants of the Month – Butterfly Perennials

Butterfly Perennials

There are many perennials that are available and many of those will produce flowers to attract butterflies but here are some of our favorites!

Anne Marie Lantana

Anne Marie Lantana is one of our favorite, easy care, sun loving perennials! Lantana is a profuse bloomer (spring till frost), that attracts many butterfly species to the garden. It is salt tolerant, deer resistant, and once established very drought tolerant. If the plant is winter damaged it comes back quickly in spring. Fertilize spring and summer with slow release bloomer.

Milkweed

A MUST for every butterfly garden! Watch the life cycle of a butterfly in your garden. The milkweed is a host for Monarch, Giant Swallowtails, Giant Palamedes, Queen and Soldier butterflies. It is very fast growing. Trim periodically to promote fullness. Do not spray the caterpillars – these are your future gentle butterflies to be! Plant in full sun and fertilize spring and summer with 6-8-10 bloomer.

Gazania

Gazania is a low growing, symetrical round bush with colorful daisies that add lots of color to the garden! They are salt tolerant , deer resistant and bloom most of the year. Gazania’s are easy to grow if they receive lots of sun, in WELL DRAINED soil. Fertilize with slow release bloomer a couple of times per year. Gazanias grow to about 18-20 inches high and wide.

Pentas

Plant it and the butterflies and hummingbirds WILL come! Pentas have always been a staple to any Perennial or Butterfly Garden. They prefer full sun but will bloom in as little as 3-4 hrs of sun. Hummingbirds prefer the red pentas and often seek out this plant in the garden. Dwarf varieties grow about 2′ while the larger varieties will stand 4′. Established plants normally recover well after winter and come up again from the roots. Enrich the soil with potting soil and fertilize with slow release bloomer. Excellent cut flower.

Salvia

One of the best performing and easiest to grow perennial for the garden. They all grow tall and open making it an excellent choice for a taller background plant in butterfly gardens, as a mass planting or in a container. Blooms almost year round and will take temps into the high 20s. Plant in well drained, fertile soil. Fertilize 2-3 times per year with slow release bloomer and enjoy the color. There are many varieties of salvia and butterflies love them all- some great choices are Mystic Spires, Indigo Blue Salvia, Wendy’s Wish Salvia, Victoria Blue Salvia and Lady in Red Salvia.

Gaura

Gaura is a phenomenal perennial that produces waves of delicate butterfly-like flowers that dance in the wind! The long flower spikes provide a great background for lower growing flowers. Guara blooms Summer through Fall. A grouping makes a spectacular show in the garden and attracts the butterflies for which it is named. There are dark pink, light pink and white gaura. Plant in full sun and fertilize spring and summer with bloomer 6-8-10.