Suggestions for Tropical Container Plants

susanlynne48(OKC7a)February 10, 2012

Hey, everyone, I always plant a few containers every year with flowering tropicals that will (hopefully) attract butterflies. Some of I have used in previous years include:

Hamelia patens

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis coccinea (Dwarf Red Porterweed)

Allamanda cathartica

Justicia brandegeeana (Red Shrimp Plant)

Malvaviscus arboreus var drummondii (Turk's Cap)

Tecoma stans

Plants I'm considering:

Clerodendrum bungei

Abutilon megapotamicum

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (Blue Porterweed)

Cuphea micropetela (Giant Cigar Plant)

Ruttya fruticosa (Jammy Mouth)

Callistemon viminalis 'Little John'

Tecoma guarume 'Miami Sunset'

Tecoma stans elata (bright orange)

Orthosiphon labiatus - Cat's Whiskers (lavender/pink)

Stachytarpheta franzii - Purple Porterweed

Pavonia lasiopetela - Texas Rockrose

Jatropha integerrima - Spicy Jatropha

Tropical Hibiscus

If anybody has grown these tropicals in your garden and found that butterflies are attracted to them, I would appreciate your comments. I'm only going to pick about 4 of them. I "wish" I could afford to try them all!



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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Susan, I grow the coral porterweed in my garden, and I've grown the blue, red and purple in the past. All but the red attracted butterflies in a huge way. The red one never grew much, so maybe its small size and few blooms made it less attractive than the others.

I also grow turk's cap, and butterflies and hummingbirds both love it, especially the sulphurs, gulf frits, and palamedes swallowtails - they're a real magnet for cloudless sulphurs and hummers.
I grew abutilon in a container once, because I'd read it was a big nectar plant for butterflies or hummers, but never saw a single butterfly visiting it, a real bust. If I were you, I'd nix that one!
I've had giant cigar plant in my garden for several years now. When it's in bloom, hummers and butterflies visit it occasionally, but it only blooms in a big way once a year, in late summer/early fall. It made a few blooms in spring last year, so maybe it's like buttonbush - with age, it blooms more often. Mine has to return from the roots every spring, which it's already doing now, and regrow every year, so maybe in a container, it'd bloom earlier and more often, I don't know.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 10:41AM
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The Giant Cigar Plant certainly is a gorgeous plant, too, MissSherry! I had Turk's Cap for one year, but it did not attract anything that I know of. I will try the Coral Porterweed. The Red did attract a lot hummers - they adored it, and I will probably grow it again. The Cloudless Sulphurs, Monarchs, and Gulf Frits also love it as well. I am just looking at different things to change it up a bit.

I will definitely nix the Abutilon! Thanks for your expert advice!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 2:13PM
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