What plants do you suggest for a butterfly/hummingbird garden?

hermie3rd(5)February 27, 2013

Hi! I have a flower bed that I am planning on turning into a butterfly/hummingbird garden. It is on the north side of our house, and on a slope. If I had to guess, I would say it is probably 10 feet wide by 15 feet long. (Although I'm horrible at estimating spaces). It is a bed my husband and I created when we moved into our house, so it's pretty much a blank canvas. So far, I've only planted 4 butterfly bushes on the side of the bed that borders the house. My hope is to hide the ugly concrete that is underneath our siding. I would like suggestions on plants (bushes, flowers, anything!) to provide the best environment for butterflies and hummingbirds to come to.

Also, we have a 6 foot privacy fence that borders the one side of the bed, so climbing plants are welcome too! I would like them to not be too invasive though, because our vegetable garden is on the other side. :)

Thank you!

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greenthumbzdude

Here are my top 10 attractors:
1. Beebalm 'Jacob Cline' (likes to spread out)
2. Coral Honeysuckle vine
3. Trumpet Creeper vine (can be aggressive)
4. Cardinal Flower
5. Black and Blue Saliva (needs protection in winter)
*if you plant these you will get a lot of hummingbirds
Here are my top 5 Butterfly Plants
1. Orange Butterfly Weed
2. Joe Pye Weed
3. Garden Phlox 'Jeana'
4. Summersweet 'Ruby Spice'
5.Purple Giant Hyssop

This post was edited by greenthumbzdude on Thu, Feb 28, 13 at 12:32

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:22PM
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hermie3rd(5)

Great! Thank you for your suggestions!! I'm starting to make a list so I'm ready for Spring! :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 6:09PM
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eric580

Here are some plants that worked for me. I am giving you the specific variety, but as far as I know,the actual species will work too. I have also included a picture of my garden to show you what the plants look like.

Tango Hyssop

Blue Butterfly Delphinium

Purple Petunia

Red Petunia

Empress of India Nasturtium

Foxglove

Mini Bee Balm

Hosta

And don't forget a good hummingbird feeder! GOOD LUCK!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 8:42PM
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hermie3rd(5)

Thanks so much! I actually have mickey mouse ear hostas my father-in-law gave me, that I have at the front edge of the bed right now. I saw hummingbirds going to them last summer, so I'll keep those there. Thanks for the picture and suggestions! It helps give me an idea of how to start planning for this bed, and I love how colorful yours is. I've got a couple of Hummzinger feeders right now, and I plan to add at least one to the garden as well. Once I get things planted and established, I'll post a picture.

Thanks again! Keep any suggestions coming! :)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:25AM
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eric580

Thanks for the support hermie3rd! That was my garden last year which was my first year. I have a hummzinger too! Completely eliminated my ant and wasp problems:) Here's a picture. The hyssop and delphinium were in bloom and a robin was foraging for worms.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 12:09PM
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rbrady(5/Eastern Ia)

My top hummingbird flowers-
1. Lobelia cardinalis
2. Monarda Raspberry Wine
3. Penstemon-any
4. Salvias-any
5. Lonicera sempervirens
6. Agastache-any
For butterflies-
1. Agastache Foeniculum or any
2. Helenium autumnale
3. Echinacea purpurea
4. Salvias-any
5. Eupatoriums-any
6. Sedums-any
7. Asclepias-any
8. Ratibidas-any

Rhonda

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 12:54AM
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hermie3rd(5)

Thanks Rhonda for the suggestions! Eric580 - don't you love those feeders? I had a cheap one I bought from the grocery store, and I was emptying out a ridiculous amount of wasps from it. I pitched it at the end of last season and I'm replacing it with another Hummzinger. They're a little pricey, but I think well worth it! :)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:39PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

Like Rhonda posted, Lobelia cardinalis is a favorite
in my garden. Cardinal Climber, Lady in Red
salvia and Coral Nymph salvia are very good also.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:15PM
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Tony G(5a)

Hermie, I'm newer to the hummingbird scene, and i just got a new hummzinger a couple weeks ago..can't wait to try it.

My two BEST hummer plants the past two seasons:

1. Agastache 'Ava'...they visit this every day. it's their home base plant.

2. black and blue salvia

The best butterfly plants:

verbena bonariensis- attracts MANY butterflies and hummingbirds too

mexican sunflowers- attract butterflies AND hummingbirds

big zinnias like cal giant or tall state fair- attract butterflies and hummingbirds

liatris ligulistylis- attracts monarchs in MASS...amazing in late summer

good luck, Tony

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:13PM
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hermie3rd(5)

Great! Thanks guys so much!

Renee

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:53AM
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Leafhead

A few hidden away host plants for butterflies:
Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis spp) and Pussytoes (Antennaria) -American Lady Butterflies
Nettles-Red Admiral, Milbert's Tortoise Shell
Fennel and Parsley in your herb garden- Eastern Black Swallowtail
Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)- out front-Monarch, all-around nectar
Butterfly Weed (A.tuberosa)-out front-Monarch, nectar for all.

Trees for Butterflies include:
Tulip Poplar and Wild Cherry-Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Hackberry- Snouts and Emperors.
Chokecherries- Red-Spotted Purples.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 11:48AM
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texasmorningglory(8b Tx.)

I would also add some Buddleia. There are some gorgeous ones out now and hummingbirds and butterflies love them.
Look for Miss Ruby or Miss Molly. Guinevere, Bicolor, Blueberry or Peach Cobbler just to name a few. I also suggest Salvias....

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Leafhead

Make sure to include lots of Helena, Liatris and Asters to fuel the migrating Monarchs in the fall.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:47PM
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eric580

Don't forget early spring bloomers that will help hummingbirds when they first arrive. Some are

Virginia Bluebell

Bleeding heart

Columbine

Lupines

And lily of the valley

Good luck :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 11:03AM
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hermie3rd(5)

Thanks, everyone!! :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:32PM
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bluebirdbabe(z5 MI)

just a note...I saw red liquid in the hummingbird feeder...plain sugar water is the best for the hummers. 4 cups boiled water to 1cup of sugar. stir to melt the sugar, cool and feed :) Thanks for the question!! I got a lot of tips too :)

I raise monarch butterflies in my laundry room, thanks for all of the suggestions!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:06PM
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eric580

Yeah silly me :) Aunt got red nectar mix as a gift. Only a little left though.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:41PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Top hummer plants in my gardens -

Monarda didyma
Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'
Lobelia cardinalis
Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue'
Yvonne's Salvia
Salvia coccinea
Ipomoea - various morning glories
Tithonia rotundifolia
Zinnia 'Cut & Come again', 'State Fair'

There are many other species of plants they nectar on, but not quite as frequently as the above - Buddleia, Cleome, Physostegia, Aquilegia, Dicentra, Silphium perfoliatum, and others.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:55PM
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mdahms1979

Ipomposis rubra is a fantastic hummingbird plant. I always grew this plant up on my 14th story balcony and it never failed to bring the hummers up to feed. A stunning plant when planted as a group in the garden or it does great in pots.

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Ipomopsis rubra

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Harleylove(9)

I never see it mentioned but the absolute favorite hands down for both hummingbirds and butterflies in my garden is Porterweed. Once it starts blooming, the hummers will guard it. Not the prettiest plant but must have a high sugar content because They absolutely LOVE it.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:05AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Eric580-- thanks for the post about early plants for hummers. That was a question I wanted to post, since so many plants suggested are summer bloomers.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 12:28PM
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mudpup

My hand down winners are giant pink phlox for butterflies. Mine grew 4 1/2 feet tall and as long as I prune faded blooms, they bloom until frost. For hummers, the salvias, of course. But this year I'm planting plenty of pineapple sage to bring them in to our new home and my new gardens! Best of luck, looks like you've gotten worlds of good advice here!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 8:48AM
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mudpup

My hand down winners are giant pink phlox for butterflies. Mine grew 4 1/2 feet tall and as long as I prune faded blooms, they bloom until frost. For hummers, the salvias, of course. But this year I'm planting plenty of pineapple sage to bring them in to our new home and my new gardens! Best of luck, looks like you've gotten worlds of good advice here!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 8:49AM
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mudpup

My hand down winners are giant pink phlox for butterflies. Mine grew 4 1/2 feet tall and as long as I prune faded blooms, they bloom until frost. For hummers, the salvias, of course. But this year I'm planting plenty of pineapple sage to bring them in to our new home and my new gardens! Best of luck, looks like you've gotten worlds of good advice here!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 8:50AM
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Leafhead

Swallowtails esp love the Phlox:)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 10:17AM
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ponyexpress_1

Bronze fennel seems to be very good host plant for the black swallowtails. I had them lay eggs two years in a row on this. Raised some of them up in the house. My favorite hummingbird plants are Salvia lady in red, Monarda Jacob cline, Fuchsia gartenmeister, red petunia and million bells, zinnia, Mexican sunflower, canna lily, coral honeysuckle, agastache, Firecracker penstemon, and red cypress vine.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 11:33PM
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jayco(5b NY)

One thing I love about my several huge patches of bee balm (I don't know the varieties, one is pink and one is red) is that they are always bustling, with hummers, bees, butterflies, and other insects. They are very easy to grow, they spread, they are easy to pull out if you don't want them somewhere, and they're pretty.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:56PM
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janice__indiana5(Z5 Indiana)

Great suggestions here for sun gardens. What about for shade, besides hosta? Shade annuals?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 10:54AM
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janice__indiana5(Z5 Indiana)

Great suggestions here for sun gardens. What about for shade, besides hosta? Shade annuals?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 9:40PM
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ladyrose65

Beautiful pictures and recommendations!
I'm think I have good foundation. They have not bloomed yet.
Buddleia, (Maltese Cross Lynchis, Verbena "Purple Top", Monarda, 3 types of penstomen: these are all WS'd, I give them until next summer to reach maturity)
Torch, Yellow Torch - Tithonia, Giant Red Zinnia's, Borage, Anise, Fennel, and Dill.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:45PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

For shade try columbine canadensis. I've not had much luck in the shade with hummingbirds.

Martha

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:59PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Lobelia cardinalis, Aquilegia canadensis, other Columbine cultivars, Dicentra spp., and many Heuchera with pink or red flowers will grow and flower fairly well with only 2-4 hours of sun. The hummingbirds are quite fond of these plants.

Some of my Monarda only gets 1/2 day sun and does pretty well. I think they would like more sun, but do okay with 3 or 4 hours.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 9:14PM
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