- Which plants do butterflies like?
- How do you make your garden butterfly friendly?
- Do butterfly bushes attract butterflies?
- How do you get a butterfly to land on you.
How to attract more butterflies into the gardens was this week's most-asked question from friends, family, and garden center customers. Because butterflies have their favorite foods, the answer is the same whether you are in a townhome, cabin in the pines, or the newest track home on the block: it all comes down to the right plants. Readily available water sources also are butterfly magnets, but a garden's irrigation provides enough water to attract them. So, “it all comes down to the right plants!”
This list of butterfly-attracting plants is not exhaustive but ensures your landscape will have more butterflies than you do now. If you plant them, they will come!! (Click on each named plant to access more information.)
Butterfly Bush is the essential plant to attract more of these majestic creatures to your landscape. Most are in bloom at the garden center now in a rainbow of colors. For easier care with the same number of flowers look for mountain dwarf varieties that are equally attractive to butterflies and to the gardeners who plant them.
Butterfly Weed has clusters of butterfly-attractive yellow and scarlet red flowers. This easy-care, well-behaved plant needs little attention and delivers terrific landscape color. For a real show, try planting this beauty in a glazed pot right on the deck or patio.
Whiteout Candytuft is an improved variety of good ol' candytuft. Dense branching and uniform flowering keeps this popular plant covered in pure white flowers from its edges to its center from early to late spring. For a dramatic effect plant them in masses and watch the butterflies be drawn in as if to magnets.
Bronze Carpet Stonecrop needs little water once established. This beautiful trailing succulent forms a lush, ground-hugging mat with dainty pink flower stalks rising above the bronze-red foliage. Useful in borders, rock gardens, and containers, it's a good contrast to green- or gray-leaved plants.
Easy Elegance Roses are for new gardeners who fear that roses are hard to grow. Elegance roses flower steadily all season, so there is always a show of colors to enjoy. Include astonishingly clean, disease-resistant foliage and a perfectly round form, and you have dependable, easy-care roses.
Miss Huff Lantana is the cold-hardiest lantana yet, with established clumps known to survive temperatures as low as 0°F. It's an excellent choice for blistering hot locations, along hillsides, and in patio containers. Showy orange and pink flowers cycle throughout the warm season.
Mango Shoutout Red Hot Poker has striking mango-orange flowers that bloom continuously summer into fall. This drought tolerant plant attracts butterflies and adds magnificent color to mixed beds and mass plantings.
These are my top 6 summer-blooming plants for butterflies. For more ideas, you'll have to visit your favorite garden center. Here is the link to a list of all 88 mountain-hardy butterfly plants. Also, printed copies are available at Watters.
FUN GARDENING CLASSES are coming up that are sure to green-up the thumbs of even novice gardeners. Classes are free, and are held at Watters Garden Center at 9:30 on the following Saturday mornings.
August 10 @ 9:30 am - Secret Gardens & Privacy Screens Tired of looking at the neighbor's RV? This class shows off the best, fastest-growing plants to fill in your privacy screens! You can screen unsightly neighbors, enhance your view, or block pesky traffic and cut noise and light pollution. Experts will be on hand to help individuals with unique situations. FREE
August 17 @ 9:30 am - Attract Birds, Bees & Butterflies – Monarchs, Swallowtails, and bees are in trouble, but we can help! This class goes into all the details of how to help the local natives. Because they like so many of the same plants, hummingbirds are simply a bonus to this class. Learn the best local trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses that naturally bring the best wildlife. FREE
August 24 @ 9:30 am - Herb Garden Designs from Beginner to Pro – Summer is the ideal time to add herbs to the garden. More than just culinary, herbs are a staple plant for the mountain landscape. Learn which herbs are best in the kitchen, reseed by themselves, are ignored by javelina, evergreen and more. You will be an herbal pro after this class. Free to gardeners of all ages. FREE
August 31 @ 9:30 am - Edible Landscape with Trees & Berries (Labor Day Weekend) Have your landscape and eat it, too! We’ll share the tips, tricks, and recipes that make for a better, healthier and tastier landscape. Plant experts will be on hand after the class that specializes in fruiting designs that can be eaten after planting. FREE
September 7 @ 9:30 am – Wildlife & Bug Prevention - Late summer is not only the peak of bug season, but there's also intense pressure from furry visitors in our yards. Students start with best practices to keep javelina and pack rats away, then quickly move to solutions for grasshoppers and tomato worms. You can have a nice yard with these easy-to-use tips and a few key plant choices. Frustrated gardeners will have all the tools they need to keep the garden pest-free! FREE
September 14 @ 9:30 am – Succulents Succulents are all the rage right now, and a great choice for container growing! Most are tough, drought-tolerant, and will grow like gangbusters in a tight space with very little after-care. Students will learn how to create a container that brings warm color and texture to their homes even at the coldest time of the year. The class is free to onlookers, but the first 12 students to sign up can create their own design with professional guidance for a $25 fee (pots provided). Call 928-445-4159 to sign up.
September 21 @ 9:30 am - Top 10 Evergreens for Mountain Landscapes – Evergreens can be the anchor of any landscape, providing color and privacy year-round. We'll dispel the myth that the only evergreens are pine trees, when in fact they can be a multitude of different shapes, colors, and sizes—there are even evergreens that aren't green! FREE
September 28 @ 9:30 am – Planting for Success in our Mountain Soil – We've planted thousands of plants throughout northern Arizona, and now we're going to share our secrets with YOU. Watters' Ella Amos, gets her hands dirty every day planting new landscapes for our wonderful customers. Years of planting success and the knowledge she's gained through her experience make Ella the perfect Guest Instructor for this class. She'll share the techniques and trade secrets she's learned to help you be a smarter, savvier, more successful gardener. FREE
October 5 @ 9:30 am - Gardening for Newcomers Learn all the mountain secrets to local garden success. This is an information-packed class guaranteed to increase garden blooms and fruit this year. Learn about growing zones, frost dates, soils and more; you'll know exactly what to do in the gardens after this class. FREE
Michele and Doug
October 12 @ 9:30 am - Autumn Colors Best Enjoyed at Home - Landscapes in autumn can be stunning, but only with proper planning. This easy-care advice will bring the silver and blues out of the evergreens, showcasing brilliant bright foliage and crazy colored flowers. Make this the brightest fall of all! FREE
October 19 @ 9:30 am - Top 10 Trees and How to Plant them - Privacy, shade, color, evergreen, and blooms. We cover trees from every angle. With so many choices, picking the perfect tree can seem overwhelming, but not after this class. Our horticultural team will be on-hand after the class to help with individual tree situations. Free tree planting guide to all attendees. FREE
October 25 @ 9:30 pm - Fall ‘To-do‘ list for a Healthy Yard - Get the most out of your landscape with this easy to use checklist of fall care. Bring the color out of your fall gardens, reduce bugs next spring, or simply put your landscape to bed with these easy to use ideas. FREE