Plants to attract Butterflys and/or Hummingbirds.

Panoply76(8)November 7, 2012

Hello all.

Would you mind taking a moment to read my profile's self descrition?

I've planted some flowers that nursery attendants have said fit the bill. Here is a list of what I've got so far:

-White Profusion Butterfly Bush (x2). The large size with potential to reach 10' tall and 6' wide.

-Orange Butterfly Weed (x3)

What other PERENNIALS would you all suggest? Size doesn't matter much, but the amount of sun does. Soil type also. I am somewhat limited in areas receiving a good 8 hours of direct sun. Worse, the soil has a large percentage of clay.

A vine, perhaps? Whaatever will attract butterflys or hummingbirds. Whatever you all reccomend is most welcome.

God Bless,


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There is a list of butterfly nectar & host plants in the FAQ area for this forum.
I had a lot of annuals planted for hummingbirds that also attract some BFs...especially sulphurs. Red Cypress vine & 'Lady in Red'Salvia are definitely favorites. Butterfly bushes are very good for nectar for both hummingbirds & blooms all spring, summer, & fall.
I didn't have as many BFs until I started planting both nectar & host plants. Depending on what you want to attract, NABA has a regional guide for Southern Louisianna & Houston that may be helpful to you as well!
Good luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: NABA Garden Guides

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:54AM
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I am sure Miss Sherry would have a ton of suggestions. You can really go wild with all kinds of plants, especially since you live in the south and have all kinds of things us northerners cannot grow.

However, I would make one suggestion, go slow! A butterfly garden is a labor of love and takes many years to perfect (if that is even possible). Many of us rush in and add whatever the garden center, magazine, or website we first go to suggests. Gardening for butterflies is very dependent on your location. For a variety of reasons. The most important of which is that butterflies are very location dependent. They can even difffer from one location in a neighborhood to another. So, that is why most garden centers or articles will list the few plants that are guarranteed to be used by some butterflies, in all areas of the country, for nectar (butterfly bush being the king, and butterfly weed or milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa, being the queen). They cannot and usually don't recommend the best thing for butterflies which is host plants.

I cannot stress enough the use of host plants. These plants have to be suited to your local population of butterflies. If you are not familiar with host plants, start there. Lila suggestion of NABA garden guides is a good one. Start figuring out what butterflies are in your area, which ones you would like to attract and then plant the host plants. That will bring them in like crazy. It might take some time or not. I had butterflies show up to try to use the plants before I had them out of the nursery pot (zebra swallowtails on paw paw).

I saw this article posted by LA's DEQ (linked below). I haven't read the book referenced but it sounds like it might work for you. Maybe others can let you know about it.

Lastly, keep asking questions on this board. No question is too small or big, we attempt to tackle them all. It is probably the best place I have found over the years to learn something new about butterfly gardening. Just remember the advice is free :).

Good luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: LA DEQ butterfly info

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:50AM
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Elizabeth, that was a great article & advice! & you are so right...go slow! I planted a lot of things that were listed as good host plants that have been ignored here in North Texas that have become somewhat invasive & haven't attracted the butterflies I wanted! Also, you are right...Miss Sherry would be a great source for what works since she is close to La & is the most experienced BF gardener on this forum!
I read your profile, Panoply76/Jeremy...& one thing the article suggested is to elevate the BF garden for drainage. Also, you can ammend your planting area by adding compost, shale, sand & mulch to help your clay soil. Some plants do well in boggy soils like Swamp Milkweed but most plants like good drainage!
Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Thanks Lila;
The beauty of using native local plants is that they are adapted to your soils. With the exception of sites that have all the topsoil scraped down to bare rock, native local plants will do very well under most circumstance.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 12:30PM
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I live In Houma,La. This was my third year of Gardening for butterflies and hummingbirds.Depending on your surroundings it could take a while to establish your garden. Every year I find more and more butterflies showing up. I've had tremendous success for a begginer with the Mexican milkweed for Monarchs, Blue and Incarnata Passion vine for Gulf fits, Yellow Senna cassia trees for Sulphurs, Wysteria for long tail skippers, Fennel for Black swallowtail and lemon and lime trees for the Giant swallowtail butterflies. My best nectar plants for BF's have been Red penta, Tall Zinnia, Tall Cosmos and Miss huff lantana. I havent had much luck yet with the BF bushes. For the humming birds I highly reccomend the red/coral porter weeds, pinneapple sage, large pentas and the coral native honey suckle vine....Some are annuals, somer or tender perinnials, some are small trees. More detail on all of these plants can be found at
they are located in La.and have sections for each butterfly and hummingbirds. I've ordered many plants from them and never had any issues.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 12:40PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Lantana. Cannas.

Some of the best nectar plants are inexpensive annuals which don't require a lot of planning since they won't live through winter. If you don't like the arrangement, it's definitely temporary. Zinnias, Basil and Coleus are work-horses with a much longer bloom than most perennials. All 3 can be grown from seeds also. While waiting a few years for perennials to get established and big, these plants can really help.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:25AM
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Thanks everyone! I had some trouble running down the plants y'all mentioned, not to be picky or a choosy beggar could y'all use scientific names (genus - species, the binomial system).
TJ, yours would naturaly seem to be the most appropriate advice, but I had the hardest time finding the plants you mentioned! I have favorited the site you mentioned, however.
A 'host' plant is a plant that butterflies like to lay their eggs on/their caterpillers eat? How important are nectar source lants for attracting butterflies?
My butterfly garden will be modest, as my botanical interests go in several directions. This is definitely a fascinating one and will receive a good bit of attention. My other interests are trees (low maintenance after a year or so), fruiting trees, bushes & vines - these often require a good bit of time, usually in 'spurts' so to speak and flowering vines and shrubs. I look forwrd to creating a (hopefully) very effective butterfly garden! Hummingbirds are also most welcome!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 12:34PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Jeremy, where are you in Baton Rouge, I mean, are you out from the city or right in the middle of all that traffic. Some of the biggest traffic jams I've ever been in have been in BR! You might not see many butterflies if you're in too much of an urban situation, although Susan in Oklahoma City gets a good many visitors.

Anyway, if I were you, I'd plant a few nectar plants like the ones you've planted - I don't know if orange butterfly weed means Asclepias curassavica or the real butterfly weed, A. tuberosa, which is a great nectar plant, but doesn't get many monarch eggs. It also may not grow in BR, it won't grow here, just in north MS. You could add some lantana, the easiest to grow and one of the most popular nectar plants out there. There are big lantanas and some that stay smaller, so you can pick which would fit into your landscaping.

After you've seen some butterflies, then you could identify them and look up their host plant. If, for example, you saw a pipevine swallowtail, you could plant some Aristolochia tomentosa/pipevines for them. Pipevine swallowtails can raise themselves and rarely get victimized by wasps, just occasionally by certain predatory stinkbugs. If you see a monarch, you could plant A. curassavica, which is the best for my area and probably yours, and the monarchs just LOVE to lay eggs on it.
If you see, say, a cloudless sulphur, you could plant a Christmas cassia/Cassia/Senna bicapsularis and get caterpillars of cloudless sulphurs, sleepy oranges, and little yellows. Plus you'd have those beautiful yellow flowers blooming for you now.

If you want to go ahead and plant a host plant for some type of butterfly without having seen one, your best bets would be the Christmas cassia, a tall bush, and some good passionvines, like Passiflora incarnata/maypops or P. cerulea, just don't plant P. coccinea or red-flowering ones, except for Lady Margaret, which is actually burgundy. Unfortunately, LM won't come back for me in spring, so the others are better. Passionvines/passiflora are host to gulf fritillaries, those bright orange beauties that we see even in cities. Here's a male gulf frit -

Get back with us as you make up your mind, have questions, etc.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 5:45PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Hi, do you have a place with half sun, half shade or cool morning sun?

If so you definitely need Salvia Van Remsen. Created naturally in the Baton Rouge backyard of Dr. James Van Remsen, ornithologist at LSU, when 2 salvias formed a natural hybrid in his yard.

I am a beginner at this, too. Read about my Van Remsen & see pic of my other new Salvia guaraniticia 'Purple Majesty,' both reportedly hummer magnets that attract BFs as well & perennial in Louisiana, late bloomers that feed hummers during the fall migration. GW Perennials forum, search for "river" twice and see my picture & post of 11/4/12.

I am also e-mailing you with more tidbits. Good luck!

Picture of Van Remsen on link below is for info only, probably available locally for you. Comes from Baton Rouge so disregard what this nursery says about soil.

Here is a link that might be useful: Salvia Van Remsen at Vincent Gardens Nursery

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 1:17AM
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Another starter host plant that would be good for you to pick up is Rue, found in herb sections of nurseries usually. It is not only an attractive plant, but the Black Swallowtails and Giant Swallowtails both lay their eggs on this one. It gets about 2' high and about as wide. I would plant at least 2 or 3 plants.

Black Swallowtails generally lay eggs on a few plants in the Apiaceae family, such as Fennel and Dill. But these plants don't like the hot, humid South very well. That's why I suggest using Rue.

I second the recommendation of Almost Eden as a plant source for you. I ordered 3 plants from them this year - Lavender Porterweed (which the butterflies and hummers adored), Hamelia patens, and a Tecoma with orange/yellow blooms. Nothing really was attracted to the Tecoma, but the Hamelia patens was loved by the hummers. I have found that hummers generally will nectar on the same plants as butterflies use. They use my Cosmic Orange Cosmos, Brazilian Verbena, Flame Acanthus (easy from seed, blooms 2nd year, but Almost Eden carries plants that would probably bloom the 1st year you purchase).

I grew Dallas Red Lantana this year, and the butterflies and hummingbirds loved it. It is hardy in your zone, but not mine, so I grow as an annual here.

I also concur with Passion Vines (except Red, albeit Lady Margaret will sustain the larvae), and Pipevines, Aristolochia tomentosa, fimbriata, and others. A. fimbriata is not a vine, though, but a low-growing plant. A word of warning about Passiflora incarnate. It easily gets out of control and tries to take over everything. I do grow it because it attracts both the Gulf Frits and Variegated Frits, tho, when other passion vines do not attract the Variegated Frits. They will use Violets.

I guess Xmas Cassia, or Senna bicapsularis is hardy in your zone. In mine it is an annual, but it resseds very well, so I never have to replant it. Here I get Cloudless Sulphurs and Sleepy Oranges on it.

It's a lot to take in, I know. Everyone here has given you very good advice. Most of all, though, enjoy it. It has been one of my most rewarding experiences.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:28PM
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I can't thank you all enough! It's a lot to take in! I was exceptionally lucky to have planted Orange Butterfly Weed (3); White Profusion Butterfly Bush (2) and Anne Marie Lantana (4). I was going for butterfly plants but to see that I got the best ones I credit God, you all and my local nursery people. I've even got a mature Tulip Tree very close to where most of these are planted!

My problem seems to be coming from host plants. I've read awful things about Rue. That it's poisonous, that it is incrdibly unpleasant to smell etc. It's very size is a minor issue, unless I can find a spot where I have no plans for something else - I hope it's OK w/ partial sun only. Is there something better out there? I could try those herbs, even if they dislike to hot and humid south....or is it a waste of time?
OH! I saw a caterpillar today! He was on the Butterfly Weed, perhaps in transit to the Tulip Tree? I've tentatively ID'd him as either a Monarch or a Black Swallowtail. He was quite small. I have not seen any Black Swallowtails (plenty of orange/tiger swallowtails) nearby and have seen all of one Monarch which may have been a misidentification as I saw him through the window at breakfast time and whatever he was, he'd split by the time I made my way out there. I suspect this poor fellow will not live as it is starting to get cold. Unless he was ready for his chrysalis, but he seemed small (granted, i don't know how big they should be).
I've still got the chrysalis that came on a pot of Orange B-Weed from the nursery. It's in a safe place outside. If/when we have a freeze I'll bring it indoors.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:33PM
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Jeremy, it is true that Rue can cause a skin dermatitis reaction to those susceptible. It has never bothered me and I sometimes forget how it affects others. It is a very pretty plant. If you wear gloves, you will be fine.

You can grow Fennel better than Rue, and I actually think the Bronze Fennel is more tolerant of heat and humidity than the regular green fennel. Black Swallowtails love it just as much as the green, too. It will look gorgeous in the spring, and ratty looking during the summer. It will bloom despite all your efforts to discourage it, but the caterpillars love to eat the blooms.

I think MissSherry has found larvae on Mock Bishop's Weed. There are a few native plants the Black Swallowtail is said to use, but seeds and plants may be difficult to find, but include Nuttall Mock Bishop's-weed (Ptilimnium nuttallii), Ribbed Mock Bishop's weed (P. costatum), Thread-leaf Mock Bishop's weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum), Prairie Parsley (Polytaenia nuttallii), Teas Dutchman's Breeches (Thamnosma texana) in addition to Fennel and Dill.

Finding the plants locally and collecting seeds would be about the only way to get the Mock Bishop's Weed started in your garden.

I did forget about Parsley. It doesn't like a lot of heat and humidity either, but may perform better in your garden than Dill or Fennel. It's worth a try at least.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:02AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Mock bishop's weed grows roadside in damp places here, it's pretty common, and, surprisingly, it came up on its own in my garden. The black swallowtails like it as much as dill and fennel, which is resembles.
Rue has never bothered me, and I'm allergic to practically everything. Please don't eliminate it from your garden plans, since it's such a versatile host plant.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:40AM
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UPDATE! Spotted caterpillar again. He has at least tripled in size and is, without question, a Monarch! He is devouring the Butterfly Weed (???) like there's no tomorrow! Very happy! Anything I should try to do for him vis a vis winter?

Bronze Fennel and a shot at parsley, roger that Susan.

APOLOGIES Miss Sherry! I live off Highland Road in between Lee Dr. and Staring Ln. I won't say the neighborhood, but since I have a .75+ acre lot you'll know it isn't either of the 'Woods' (Woodgate or Woodstone) and may very well be able to narrow it down to 2-3 neighborhoods. You'd be wrong (probably), though, as my neighborhood is exceptionally small and old, built some before and most after WWII (my home is pre-war). Well, maybe you'd be right... lol. I'm relatively well insulated from traffic, which is indeed brutal. My Butterfly Weed is Asclepias curassavica and seems to absolutely be a host for Monarchs. My Lantane is Anne Marie, and while I bought small specimens, the will eventually reach 2x2 feets in size. Is that large end or small? I am VERY INTERESTED in gertting Passiflora incarnata & caerulea but shall wait for Spring. Do you know of any reputable nurseries from which to buy them online, if my local nurseries fail me? I use, in oder of preference: Louisiana Nursery (Perkins); Cleggs (Siegen) and Lowes (also Siegen, in that pooly accessible Siegen Marketmplace just south of I-10). Occassionally Ace's Hardware on Highland where Kenilworth dead ends into Highland. They have loads of seed packets which nurseries, oddly, don't seem to carry much of.

While I'm thinking of it, I've had terrible success in growing from seeds. A packet of 50 may yield, if they yield ANY, less than half a dozen! It's frustrating. I've used those minature greenhouses where you plant each seed(s) in a pre-made tiny pot and cover with transparent plastic, tiny seed-starter pots that I've treated in a number of different ways. I have set them on the ground (brick) outdoors, in planter saucers together in groups, and all of the abive on a wrought iron patio furniture table. I've used Miracle Grow to water them and rainwater (we collect it in a large drum). I've kept them constantly moist, downright wet and dry-ish. Any ideas?

Back to Passionvines. I was in love wih them before I knew they had any use for butterflies whatsoever. (i really believ at this point, as trifling a cause for Him as it sounds, that God is aiding me in my endeavors - far too many coincidences. another example i have not 1 but 2 fully mature Tulip Trees > likely b/c it doesn't get near as much sun as the one close to my primary butterfly garden> Why He has chosen to help me in this endeavor....mysterious ways, etc). I wish He'd turn some of His grace toward my Gingko which seems to be having problems. We have lost 1 already. The kiwi are in the ground (finally) but I'm worried that one may not be able to get he full sun when it begins to need it (3 years!!). Easily remedied by removing 2 small/medium tallow trees if it proves necessary. I have never liked these volunteer weed-trees as I call them. They grow everywhere and so fast! In mid-Summer I must make a circuit of the yards to tear up foot high tallow trees that have hidden along fence lines, etc. or in what we call 'Jeremy's Garden.' If you're curious at to what that is, ask and I'll explain - sort of a half-project begun years ago.

Well, Thanks Again All!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:06PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Jeremy, I wasn't trying to find out exactly where you live, was just interested to know if you lived right off one of those crowded highways. It sounds like you've got some protection there.
A 2' X 2' lantana is small. Mine grows to about ?7' tall and spreads out about 8' or more - it would spread even more, but I trim it back so I can walk through the garden.
I wouldn't recommend you buy any host plants from your local nurseries, unless you're positive they don't spray them or use systemic insecticides, which will kill the caterpillars. I think it's fine to get as many nectar plants locally as you want. I like to order host plants from Almost Eden, Mail Order Natives, Woodlander's, and Sunlight Gardens. They've all said that they use no insecticides, but you should ask first, to be sure. I would order both Passiflora incarnata and P. caerulea, since they both have their advantages. Once you get them going, you can get seeds from the fruit (if the caterpillars don't eat the flowers or buds up first) and start your own from seeds or you can dig up root suckers and plant them out where you'd like them to grow. I know what you mean about seeds, I don't have much luck with many of them, only the ones that germinate easily are easy for me.
Almost Eden doesn't carry Aristolochia tomentosa (unless they've just started carrying it) which you'll want for pipevine swallowtails, but they may carry A. fimbriata, I can't remember. A. fimbriata doesn't get big enough to support many caterpillars, so you may want to plant it at the base of your A. tomentosa vines, that's what I do. One good thing about A. fimbriata is that it grows back rapidly after the cats chew it to the nub. I got an A. fimbriata seed pod this year, and I planted the seeds directly in the soil where I wanted them to come up in my garden. I'm hoping they'll come up this spring.
Good luck with your butterfly gardening, Jeremy. It's an addiction, but a healthy one.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Rue has chemicals that cause Phytophotodermatitis. That means that when the sap from rue gets on your skin, it reacts with UV light to damage your skin. If you have not had a reaction, it may be because you washed your skin or were not out in the sun for any period of time. It has to be exposed to UV light to do damage. In contrast, poison ivy causes your immune system to go into overdrive creating a rash. I have had a small reaction from picking up seedling rue plants and I have seen a very severe reaction on a gardener. She ended up unable to do anything for two weeks because of the severe rash on her hands.

I know it attracts giants and black swallowtails, but both of those butterflies will choose other plants over rue if they are available. In the butterfly house, we have parsley, dill, fennel, carrot, and rue. The black swallowtails devour the others and pretty much leave the rue alone. This is true with the giants too, who prefer the hops tree and prickly ash. When we run out of other plants and switch both those caterpillars to rue, they take longer and don't do as well (giants seem to do better on it than black swallowtails). I will say that it does not smell at all. At least I can't smell it.

There are tons of plants that black swallowtails will use in the carrot family (Apiaceae). There are probably many native plants, golden alexanders comes to mind, in LA that you can use like Miss Sherry said. Try a few different things and see what happens. If nothing else, you can use the carrots, dill, parsley, and fennel in a salad.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:51PM
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I was just trying to relate that many Apiaceae plants do not like heat or humidity, and they include carrots, dill, parsley, and fennel. Fennel does the best of the four mentioned.

I guess it depends on where you're located. I'm sure in the Northern states these plants do much, much better. No one around here would ever consider even trying Celery! We here in Oklahoma are still trying to figure out how to get the Dill to coincide with the cucumber harvest! LOL Usually the Dill is long gone by the time we have cukes.

Here the Black Swallowtails like Rue as well as the Fennel.

It's cheap enough to try everything mentioned to see what will work best for you in your garden, and it's great that you have lots of options.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 7:13PM
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No Susan you are right! I just don't want anyone to "play" with rue without knowing its potential bad side. I have personally seen a really, really bad reaction. It can make poison ivy look like a slight rug burn in comparison. So, perhaps something native?

Okay, this is the one time I am happy I live north. I love all those plants! I can't imagine not growing dill and fennel. So, I will remember that when you guys talk about all the wonderful butterflies and pretty plants I don't get.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Thanks again, y'all. I'm going to wait until Spring before setting in any host plants, and will try pretty much all of what y'all've mentioned - depending on local availability. I'm a bit nervous about ordering plants online and having them delivered. Is it affordable? OK for all plants?

My Monarch chrysalis has hatched! I had seen it Tuesday morning and looked again for it around 6pm-ish. It as empty! I've yet to see another Monarch come by, so perhaps he went somewhere else? There are not one, but TWO definite Monarch caterpillars on a single B. Weed plant. No idea if he was there the whole time or what. They seem fine eating that. So Asclepias curassavica is good Monarch food? Seems to be. I broke of a small branch with younger leaves from my Tulip Tree and stuck it in the garden so that is contacts the B Weed. Just in case they prefer that.
What, if anything, can I do for them to better their odds for survival?
Passionflowers. So they grow gangbusters down here? GREAT! They look so pretty I'd have thought to have seen them all over but can't recall ever seeing one.
On a totally different note, does anyone know anything about gingko trees? I'm afraid for the one recently planted.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 7:08PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Hi Jeremy,

Did you buy your gingko tree b/c it turns neon yellow and is one of the few trees around here that turn color like fall foliage in New England? Beautiful every fall in Louisiana. There are 2 ginkos nearby on the bank of a bayou, on the rise where they are well drained but near water if they want it, in a sunny location. Sorry, that is all I know.

Here's a local plant source for you from a hummingbird enthusiast who lives in Baton Rouge tho' it sounds like a hardware store and garden center and not a real nursery (I like real nurseries & I see your list of nurseries, too):

"Shirley and Butch Drewes at Naylor's Hardware/Nursery here in Baton Rouge. They are a great source for hummingbird and butterfly plants and know a great deal about which ones will grow here, etc."

I think I've found it on googlemaps but you might call the phone no. listed & ask if it is Shirley & Butch's location:
Naylor's Hardware & Garden Center

I e-mailed you on Nov 9 or 10 through you gardenweb member page with the name & e-mail address of this online contact, as he offered for me to give you his contact info. I don't know where he lives in Baton Rouge & I don't know if you ever got my e-mail. He is in a group that bands hummingbirds under the direction of a lady in Metairie who is a licensed bander. All volunteers and enthusiastic gardeners so maybe they can recommend local nurseries.

The nursery called Almost Eden Plants is recommended above by both misssherry & susanlynne. The guy is very interested in BFs and hummers & although Almost Eden is almost at the Texas border, it is only 1 mile north of Hwy 190. So maybe delivery could be a straight shot in a UPS or USPS truck across Hwy 190 to you! They only sell mailorder except for 1 or 2 weekends per year when they have an open house/plant sale and let the public in. I think Baton Rouge and Hammond have huge nurseries so you have a lot of choice.

I am learning a lot from this thread as I am only slightly colder than you are. Best wishes, River

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Thanks, River. I've favorited both 'Shirley & Butch' and 'Almost Eden.' I didn't get the e-mail about banding hummingbirds, but that's probably because I'm hopelessly lost vis a vis computers and did not know, and still can't find, a mailbox for me on this site. I've got the info now, though!
I actually got the gingko because I like it's story more than it's undeniably beautiful fall colors. An ancient, prehistoric tree thought extinct until found in a few valleys in China? That's the story I got and I love it! (don't disabuse me of it if it's wrong!!!) I had to have it. I bought one and then my lawn guy decided he'd spray Roundup around it (a newly planted tree!!!) and put mulch around it's base. Pretty positive that one's a write-off. Bought another and am very anxious about it. Been in the ground only about a month and certainly isn't flourishing. Might be OK and come roaring back come Spring. That's my hope. Just all this CLAY! ugh.
My planting is done for the year. I've a rather nasty chest infection and besides, was planning to wrap it up about now anyway. My gardening focus now is on those 2 Monarch caterpillars. They remain on the same buh getting bigger and bigger. Hope they make it to chrysalis and Mexico in time! Already know I've sent one on his merry way with that chrysalis that...hatched? or whatever the term is.

Thanks, River.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:20PM
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I've now got 2 large Monarch caterpillars on a single B Weed and 2 small Caterpillars! I didn't look very hard so there may be more! I called Louisiana nursery and had a kid tell me they have lots of the little guys on their Butterfly Weed plants as well! That's where I bought these from. The young man alsoi told me that a woman had come the other day and collected as many as she could find.
I feel absolutely awful, physically, due to a rotten chest infection & fever (won't utter the F word, knock on wood). I need to be contacting Shirley & Butch's place to get info on how best to see to it these guys make it to Mexico for that love-in thing they do . I contacted LSU's Entymology department, a professor in that department anyway, who pushed me off on a nice grad student who just told me, basically, 'They'll make it or they won't.' Funnily enough, one of my neighbor's is the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at LSU and I've an invite for a party there tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. If I hadn't already sent my regrets, I'd go & try and pigeonhole the appropriate person!
I'll try Shirley & Butch when I'm feeling a bit better. They're a bit out of my stomping grounds of BR, but God bless Ma Cox and the internet!


PS Don't know how I mmanaged 2 duplicate responses. Sorry.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:41PM
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madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)

Greetings from a former resident of N'Awlins... one good way to get host plants is to grow your own from seed. A good source for seeds of native plants is Prairie Moon Nursery; it specializes in Midwestern species but many will do fine in your area. Prices are reasonable, $2 per packet. Another good source is J. L. Hudson, which offers seeds from all over the world, including many tropical and subtropical species. Both firms have websites.

One nectar plant I did not see mentioned above is Verbena (Vervain) - here in north Alabama, I have seen butterflies practically fighting each other to nectar from a Verbena! I am not talking about the hybrid Verbenas seen in nurseries but the ones with flowers on upright spires, usually as roadside weeds! Otherwise, I endorse all the ones mentioned above, and add that I too never had a problem with rue.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:45PM
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