Hummingbird/butterfly garden suggestions

stevegaFebruary 22, 2007

I live in north georgia and have started a hummingbird/butterfly garden in my side yard. I have about 60' by 30' feet area dominated by a large southern red oak. The area gets all afternoon sun. I would like to utilize "hot" colors in this area because I have cool colors elsewhere. Hummers really liked the group of black and blue salvia in the back yard last year.

I would like suggestions of red, pink, orange perennial plants that would do well in sun. The soil is mostly clay and dryish (under the tree). I do have irrigation. In the area now I have a concrete curved bench and

2 weigela (they seem to bloom before the birds arrive)

1 Miss Huff lantana

5 upright verbena

2 butterfly bushes- 1 purple, 1 pink

3 red periennial salvia (they struggled in the first year)

3 monarda (they also struggled)

The overall plan is to have the bench and sitting area as a destination. Paths would wind through the planting groups so that you could enjoy them up close as well as view as a whole. I am undecided about an arbor entrance or some open gazebo. Those would provide good structure for vines (crossvine?)

Your recommendations for hummingbird attractors that would thrive would be most appreciated.

Thank you

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penny1947(z6 WNY)

For vines how about coral honeysuckle and or crossvien but the honeysuckle will bloom longer.

I have clay soil and I add lots of compost and pea gravel to my beds to increase drainage so that I can plant most anything I want even in half day sun:
Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
Salvia greggiis
Salvia coccineas
Cannas (small flowered ones)
False Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)


    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 5:29PM
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Thanks Penny. I am on the hunt for crocosmia and agastaches. The garden is right next to a bed of irises and a yucca. The crocosmia will add to that foliage shape theme. Salvias are one of my favorites so I will continue to add them

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 5:16PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

This time of year you will probably find crocosmia in the area where the prepackad bulbs are (gladiolas, fritallia, etc.) I only see them in the better local garden centers. I have never seen them at Wally World or Home Depot or Lowe's. Agastaches may be found at Lowe's but I usualy find mine at locaal stores also. Watch the agastaches b/c some are strictly bee plants. Agastache foeniculum is a 'bee plant'. Agastache cana is a good one as it A. rupestris. High Country Gardens has some very nice agastaches with pics and descriptions online so you can see what they look like


Here is a link that might be useful: High Country Gardens

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 5:10AM
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Steve your Home Depot should have the crocosmia lucifer. Ours does. They will be inside the store not in the garden center. I looked at them Thursday. You might try red hot poker if you don't have them. Last year while we were in Hawassee I saw those all over the place. The hummingbirds are supposed to like these too.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 9:46AM
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Thanks all for your suggestions. I have picked up some corms of crocosmia red king (smaller than Lucifer) at Lowes and will get some Lucifer locally in a couple of weeks. I will be sure to get agastaches that are Hummingbird food rather than butterfly only-that's good info.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 8:34AM
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I'd try some coccinea also and for the butterflies zinnia of course. My front bed was full of them as a temporary fill in and I dont' mind it staying that way forever. I loved it and so did the hummers and the butterflies and bees.

You can do scarlet runnerbean vine also. The hummers love them and so do the kids. They aren't aggressive so I leave them to climb up a column on my front porch and then just lay over the boxwood shrubs that I don't mind hiding away anyway.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 4:15PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I've had good luck with the following:

salvia Lady In Red

salvia microphylla San Carlos Festival

and my best attractant, salvia Black and Blue

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 1:43PM
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For hummers:

Daylilies! The orange ditchliles are very popular with hummers, but you can find more 'refined' smaller varieties in whites, pinks, yellows, oranges and reds - all the hot colors!

I don't know which penstemons would best suit your conditions - but they're native to almost every part of the country so there should be a species or variety happy where you live.

For butterflies:
Also consider orange butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa) and pink swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata) - it's a very nice plant but I think the swamp in the name worries people. It will get by in a dry area once established and is more popular with the butterflies than the orange butterfly weed.

'Gateway' joe-pye weed (eupatorium?) likes moisture and would be good if you're willing to check on it and water when needed.

I have yellow "Coronation Gold" yarrow - which holds up better to heat and humidty than Moonshine.

Also I love blanket flowers - Gaillardia - they have a long season of bloom and like heat.

Liatris - pinkish, purple. Available as a number of species, types, sizes.

Purple coneflowers are a butterfly fav - but they now have them in orange or yellow varieties. Also consider mexcian hats or some of the black-eyed susans.

These are the fav 'snackbar plants' in my sun garden - I'm not sure how they'd do in Georgia? But I'm envious of your warmer winter weather!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 1:40PM
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Thanks all again for your suggestions. Nice pictures of salvia! I'll find the lady in red and microphylla. I'm expecting a good show with the second year of my black and blue in the back yard.
I'm going to try and find a place for the runner bean. The grandkids will love it.
Lucy-Joe Pye, yarrow, gaillardia, cone flowers/black eyed susans, daylillies all do great down here. The upright verbena was the favorite of butterflies last year.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 3:54PM
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