Here at the garden center we have sighted our first hummingbird! Our little friend was very busy visiting all it’s favorite perennials that it loves to feed from. This means that soon the butterflies will be making their presence once again to our landscapes. As summer quickly approaches, some of the major food sources for these fancy creatures start to flower. At the Garden Center we carry many perennials that butterflies and hummingbirds call their favorites. Some of these perennials we call our favorites too. If you are looking to make a perennial garden that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, or if you are looking to add some additional plants to your existing butterfly garden, there are some important factors that you should consider.
As you plan your butterfly oasis, make sure you pick the appropriate location for your garden. Butterflies need the heat from the sun to warm their wings for flight, so when it comes to picking a location make sure it has sun from mid-morning through the afternoon hours. Once when you have this location picked out make sure to pick the perennials that will attract but also thrive in a sunny location.
When choosing perennials make sure you select ones that flower orange, red, yellow, pink and purple. These are the colors adult butterflies are attracted to. They prefer flowers that are clustered or flat topped and that have short flower tubes. Also keep in mind to select perennials that flower at different times throughout the year. This way you can enjoy the butterflies for the whole season. Some of our favorite plants that attract these beautiful friends are Monarda, Liatris, Coreopsis, Salvia, Lillies, Allium, Daisies, Veronica, Sedum, Penstemon, Echinacea, and Yarrow. Use these perennials and it will create an array of colors that will last all season long. After selecting your plants, there are a couple more things you might like to add to your butterfly oasis.
Butterflies like to rest so adding some resting places is a good idea. One of the best things for this is some bigger rocks that they can use to warm their wings in the sunlight. Another thing to think about adding is a place for puddling. Butterflies love to gather by shallow sandy puddles. They drink the water and extract minerals from these locations. It’s very easy to make one of these puddling areas just take a shallow pan, add some sand and pour water into the pan to make the sand evenly moist. You don’t want to add to much water just enough to keep the sand evenly moist so the butterflies still have a place to land. You might even want to add some bananas once in a while, they really like them. Most of these plants and ideas will attract hummingbirds too.
Hummingbirds like some of the plants we mentions above but some other fun ones are Digitalis, Heuchrea, Columbine, and Lobelia. They also love an array of annuals as well one of their favorites, fuchsias. Another to consider when attracting hummingbirds is adding a hummingbird feeder to your garden. Many people say all you have to do is hang a hummingbird feeder and they will arrive shortly after. It is very easy to make hummingbird food it is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Boil the mixture and once when it is cool put the food in the feeder. You could say that hummingbirds have a little bit of a sweet tooth, but don’t we all. Also making sure there is a tree or shrubs close by your garden for protection. If you would like to learn more about these plants and other ways to attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies to your yard we will be discussing the topic in our plant talk June 7th at 2 pm. We hope to see you there.
If you have been having problems or questions with roses and caring for them, our next blog will be discussing how to care for them so check back later.