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We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 27, 10 at 13:41

Well, it all started when I decided the veggie garden in the back was just too sterile looking. I've freed up some area back there and put some flowers in for now but we want to create Butterfly Gardens in both the front and the back yard. The front of the house faces north with full-sized live oaks the length of the yard, sunny in the morning and shaded from mid-afternoon on. The back only has one moderate sized live oak tree but it's on the east side of the yard so the garden back there is just the opposite, shaded in the morning and sunny from afternoon on. Below are some pictures of the front yard, that's where I want to start this spring/summer since the shade will be cooler to work in. Cathy wants me to leave two of the plumeria but other than that everything you see is coming out and the area will be mulched, and new plants placed as I figure things out. If anyone coming to the Tampa swap 4/17 wants some mature Monkey Grass let me know, I hate to just pull it out and throw it away. I need suggestions for Butterfly plants, host and nectar, than can handle the sun and shade you see in the pictures below. Thanks!

Tom

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Looking west (all pictures at 12:15 P.M.)

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Another view from the west

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Southwest

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Southeast

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East


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Check out the Butterfly Forum for a list of host plants that you will want to put in to draw the female butterflies in. The males will of course follow. Start with the species you already see in your neighborhood.

Just to name a few:
Milkweed for the Monarchs and Queens - will take full sun.
Parsley, dill, fennel, carrot tops for the Black Swallowtails - will need shade in the heat of the summer.

Wild Lime (not a fruiting plant) for Giant Swallowtails - some people use Hercules Club or Rue - I have Rue but they prefer the WL. This has morning shade in my yard but is in a large pot. It has wicked thorns so be careful

Candlestick Cassia or some type of Cassia shrub/tree - for the Yellow Sulphurs - Candlestick will die back in the winter but is a must have for the butters to lay on. Will take full sun.

Redbay tree or Camphor(Camphor is invasive but we keep ours cut as a shrub and that helps so that I can see the caterpillars) for Spicebush Swallowtails

Pipevine - Calico is a tropical that is a great host plant for the Polydamas Swallowtail. The Pipevine Swallowtails will lay on it but it is too toxic for them and the cats will not make it. I have tomentosa for them and have to transfer the cats to it.

Passionvines for the Gulf Fritts and the Zebra Longwing - do not get the true red ones - they are not a host. I like Maypops or Incarnata. It is a light purple with the frilly parts on top. ZLWs like it in the shade and GFs like it in the sun. Suberosa is good too and it often grows as a weed in our shrubs. GFs love it.

Those are all host plants - nectar plants that are must -

Red Pents - tall variety - not hybrids or dwarfs -
Plumbago is also a host for the tiny blues but you will never see eggs or cats they are so small. It is a great nectar plant though.

Mexican Petunia Reuilla - hard to control but great nectar one.
Lantana
Porterweed - skippers love it

Golden Dewdrop - thorns be careful

Mexican Sunflower Tithonia
Cosmos - bright Lights Orange and Yellow
Zinnias - Pinwheel and Cut and come AGain Variety

The three above I a grow from seed.

Be careful about your host plants - avoid big box stores for the vines and milkweed and herbs. You don't know if they have been sprayed or not and if they have, the caterpillars will die. Remember - the host plants will get eaten but they are what keeps the butterflies in your yard so that they don't have to go elsewhere to find a place to lay their eggs.

Do look at the FAQ on the Butterfly Forum. There is alist of butterflies and their hosts. Find local places that carry native plants or places on line to order. Shady Oaks nursery near Gainesville is a good one. Crowleys in Sarasota is also. There are places in Orlando like Lukas and such.

Get yourself the Florida's Fabulous Butterfly Book by Emmel/Kennedy to help ID the ones you want to have. Good luck!


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

If you have butterfly milkweed, you will have butterflies. It grows easily from cuttings, that's why it is called a weed. Dutchman's Pipe is good, a vine grows easily from seeds. Most any flower especially Pentas and Lantana.
I've been butterfly gardening in St Pete for at least 15 years.
theo


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

I also agree about milkweed, passion vine, and dutchman's pipe. However, you will need lots of milkweed because there is never enough to feed them. Dutchman's pipe just grows and grows so there will be plenty to feed the little babies.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 27, 10 at 19:57

Wow, you've help me so much. I've been off this week and spent a few hours each day reading what I could for our environment. So far I've bought milkweed, Butterfly Bush, Lantana and a cassia (not candlestick though). Problem, they all came from the big box :-(

A few initial Questions:

How long before these big box plants won't be toxic if they were sprayed?

Will parsley, dill and fennel grow in Zone 10 during the summer if I keep it in the shade?

I'm in the suburbs off a mangrove estuary of Tampa Bay, not much wild habitat here although I am just outside Weedon Island preserve. Are there some species I can't attract because they are woodland varieties?

Will Redbay grow in the shade?

What flowers will bloom through the heat and rain of our summers?

I ordered the book Friday, it's on its way ;-) Thanks for the tip about the Butterfly Forum, I never though look and see if we have one of those :-)

Tom


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Hi Tom!

You've gotten great responses so there isn't much for me to add except personal experience. In my yard, the biggest draw are the tall pentas and milkweed of course. I plant lots and lots of pentas in as many places I can. They are the most grateful plants I have. Bloom in full sun, part sun, or light shade almost every day of the year. Yes, they look kind of crummy for a while after a lot of cold weather, but mine are already looking much better and some are blooming nicely, even after our cold. They decline each year and last two or three years, but you can propagate them in the summer to renew your areas. They are also nematode prone, so add plenty of organic matter if you can and they will last longer. Only get the tall ones. They come in red of course, but shades of hot pink and cranberry too. You may have to have a nursery order those for you. I just adore my beloved pentas. The other thing is that milkweed starts so easy from seed. By the end of summer you will have lots and lots of mature plants. After a rain, I go around and cut off branches that have gotten taller than I want. I cut them to about eight inches in length, and stick them in the ground. Almost all of them take if the ground is wet. I don't even water again cuz I'm lazy and senile. I've made many, many plants this way.

I don't know if this is true, but in my yard I find that butterflies are very territorial. That is why I have clumps of milkweed, pentas and other butterfly plants in different areas. It seems to attract more. I think it is because there are more territories to keep them from chasing each other away.

One last thing I have to add. If you can get down to Crowley's, get some justicia golden flame. When it blooms, starting in the next month, I will post a pic. It is a wonderful bush that tolerates almost all sun levels, blooms in flushes through the warm months, and the sulphurs love it. I don't know why only the sulfurs. They visit all day. It also propagates easily. If you are ever down this way I'd most happily give you cuttings to root. Again, after a good rain, cut and stick in the ground a few inches. This bush was completely unaware of the cold. Not a leaf dropped nor did any of the edges turn brown!

Another last thing... the suberose passion flower I find to be a whole lot less invasive than the other passion flowers. They are small and the flowers inconsequential. They climb any nearby bushes and are almost imperceptible except to the longwings and gulf frits. That's it, I promise.

Anna


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

I would be most careful about the milkweed and the herbs being sprayed. If I see big caterpillars on those at Lowes or Home Depot, I might buy them but if you don't see aphids or caterpillars and if the plants look "too perfect" I wouldn't get them.

Parsley, dill fennel, its harder to tell. There have been many times when I have run out of it with all the cats so I buy it from the grocery store but always get the organic stuff. And I always wash it well anyway. Usually I test it with one caterpillar. If in a couple days its okay then I put more cats on it.

As far as vines and other large plants, if its systemic sprays used, the plant won't ever be good. At least that is what I have been told. I almost bought a passion vine from Lowes cause I am desperate to have it as a host but then I noiced some white residue on the leaves down near the base. The stores wouldn't be spraying them, its where they are grown that will do it.

Best bet is to plant the seeds for what you can and test the plants that are hosts with one cat or watch when you start seeing baby cats, if they die and don't make it into the next instar or start oozing a black liquid then you know you have a problem.

I am in zone 9, in Lakeland. My herbs do okay in the shade, I just have to watch for root rot if they get too much water from daily rains. I do use clay pots for my herbs. Makes it easier to tuck them in the shade when needed.

My Redbay is on the west side of my house. It is a big tree, grew pretty fast. Like I said, the Spicebush choose to use the Camphor trees, which came up as volunteers after we planted the Redbay. I didn't know what they were till I saw the butterflies laying eggs on it and did some research. We have lots of them in our neighborhood but they are invasive. You can also use Sassafras, and Spicebush as well.

I don't get Zebra Swallowtails in my area, guess no one has Pawpaw around here. Palamedes are supposedly here but never lay on my Redbay or Camphor. I see Red Admirals, Buckeyes, and Painted Ladies occasionally but they are more " grassy weed host plant" type butterflies so they come to nectar then leave. Queens visit occasionally but my friend who lives within 3 miles of me gets them all the time.

Butterfly Pea vine (host plant) is great for the Longtail Skippers and they love Porterweed for nectar.

You have a good start. I would try to plant at least 3 of each type plant together rather than seperating them. The butterflies land on the plant and scratch it with their feet to id it. I was told to plant in a triangle pattern rather than in a straight line. Butterflies see the ultraviolet end of the light spectrum and maybe having all the same color together helps them find the plants they like. Who knows??


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom, I can't add much to what has been said, but if you are planting host plants like Milkweed for the Monarchs, plant a lot. They can wipe out a half dozen plants faster than you can imagine. The Gold Rimmed Swallowtail cats can devastate a 4 x 8 trellis of Calico Vine in no time. Let's see here, now we're going to plant stuff and HOPE the caterpillars eat it. ;>) BTW, if you would like some Calico Vine seeds, drop me an e-mail.
john


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 28, 10 at 9:12

Theo & Amber - thanks, looks like I was typing my first response at the same time so I didn't see your responses. I take it the Dutchman is a host for the Swallowtail? Is it easy to control, and how much of it would I need? Since you both live close by, are there any nurseries you can recommend for purchasing plants that have not been sprayed?

Anna - thanks for the info on the pentas, I just put some in this year for the first time and they look so ratty...I'll just chalk it up to the cold weather, but you know how I feel about nematodes :-( I'd like to try the Justica Golden Flame, I've bought a cassia so you know I'm committed to the sulfurs too. I wonder if some of the red Justicas would be a good replacement for red pentas?

Mboston - thanks for all the great advice. How many pots of the herbs do you keep? How big and how deep are your clay pots?

John - yikes! I was going to make some Cattle Panel triangles 5' high and 14" on each side for the pipevine and passion vine. I don't want to give up my 5'x 6' veggie bean trellises in the back but I was thinking of giving up the overhead arbor, it's 30"x27'. I wonder which vine would be better to put there, full sun most of the day. I'll drop you a line, I would like to take you up on the seed offer.

Everyone - thanks again, please feel free to respond to any of my comments, I've got a lot to learn. I'd love to see some pictures of your creations so I can get some ideas of good groupings of plants for the various areas of sun and shade.

Tom


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Everyone has already said exactly what I would have said so I'm just chiming in with a tip:
If you can find a nursery that specializes in butterfly plants buy plants that have baby caterpillars on them so you have an instant butterfly garden. I've done this at the Florida Native Plant nursery near Crowley's in Sarasota. I love this nursery as well as Crowley's, super nice people. I have been known to transplant baby cats onto the plant I'm buying. Buy several of each kind (as people said). The more the better of one kind.

The caterpillars you take home on the plant will begin their life cycle in your yard and then repeat again and again as long as you keep their "larval" plants in stock.

I'm sure your reading has told you that "larval (host)" plants are the ones that females lay their eggs on which turn into baby cats then big cats, etc.
If you plant larvals they will come. Of course you'll also want to plant nectar plants also because they are the floriferous ones and look pretty.

Redbay note: I have read that redbay is dying statewide due to a mysterious disease.

I love looking for caterpillars in the garden and watching the butterflies zoom. Nice break from worrying about what is going wrong with the tomatoes lol.

Good luck!

Denise

P.S. I've purchased mail order plants from Shady Oaks and mailordernatives.com with good results.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Dutchman's Pipevine - I started about 15 years ago with a stem with one leaf. Now I have seperate plants about every 2 ft apart that cover the length and almost the width of my back yard on one side. BUT...for the first 3 years or so every day or so my DH,s on and I would go out and pick off the eggs or tiny cats so that I would have enough plant to feed the ones left on.The vine produces an umbrella shape seed pod that when dried out fall apart and scatters 100's of seeds per pod. nature plants these the best for me - I have poor luck planting them myself. The top of my vine will get bit back here but last year with all the cats I had, my entire vine was eaten all over my yard. It had just flushed out nicely once the butterflies quit laying about Oct. This winter killed the vines all the way back to the base of each plant, so its like I'm starting over AGAIN! I'll be picking off eggs for awhile. To give you an idea. The female can lay big numbers of eggs in each cluster. I have counted up to 18 tiny cats on the back of a leaf. They will stay together till they get bigger then will disperse. I love the "Polys" or GoldRims cause they are a gregarious bunch of butterflies. They roost at night in my Crape Mrytle trees and its a site to see them kinda falling out of the trees in the morning. They chase each other around the yard and never stop their wing motion when feeding. Here, they arrive usually in early April and stay till late Oct., a very l ong season compared to others.

I use different sizes of clay pots, whatever I have. Parsley can go in smaller ones but the dill and fennel kinda grow tall and so I use the bigger ones, like 18" so that the seed kinda falls back in the pot.

You will find that the cats can disappear. Parasistic wasps are horrible. They will take the eggs/ cats off your plants. I usually bring in and raise the first broods of cats from each species to help them get going. Its time consuming and you have to have enough food to be able to cut off what you need to keep it fresh and still have plants in the garden. How to do that is another story in itself. See what you have gotten yourself into! HA!


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

I have a couple Aristolochia fimbriata seedlings I was going to swap. It's white dutchmans pipe, with a fimbriata effect.
Lori


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Good point on the parasitic wasps! I had a huge problem with them last year.

Tom - I have some Golden Dewdrop (duranta) that need a home. It's a good nectar plant and blooms profusely. I have not noticed thorns, however, I cut the berries off which keeps it blooming constantly. The berries are poisonous, but supposedly some bird species eat them. None have in my yard.

I can give you some milkweed cuttings as well and more parsley. Just let me know!

Here's a pic of it in my yard being visited by a Monarch:


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom, thank you for posting this thread. I have been looking into a butterfly garden and this thread has tons of info.
Saintpfla, that is a beautiful picture. I would love to see a sight like that in my yard.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

That's Sharbear! :) That's the Golden Dewdrop/Duranta plant. I have two topiaried into small trees. I pruned them hard this year due to the freeze, but they are recovering nicely. Butterflies, hummers, bees, skippers, etc., love this plant.

I've even found a few monarchs on a branch in the pupae stage. I have milkweed planted next to it, so they climb up the Duranta when they are fat and sleepy. It gives great visibility to watch the metamorphis.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 28, 10 at 15:10

Thanks folks, please keep posting any tips you think of....

Lori - Did we stop by the Florida Native Plants nursery last year? On another note I'd love to have those pipevine seedlings, would you like any of my mature monkey grass, it's shallow rooted and easy to dig up and keep intact.

Saintpfla - I'd love to have some of that duranta, I saw in Ginibee's ablum from her post on Butterfly Gardening and it has been on my list of "must haves". Do you think you'll be going to Lori's swap 4/17? If not it looks like I'll be making another trip down to your place.

Tom


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

I bought my Dutchman's Pipe at Willowtree nursery on 49th street. It has very attractive and unusual flowers and smells like Windex (at least to my nose). I put it next to an arbor and it has almost covered the whole thing (1 plant). Some times you have to hack it back, but it is controllable. It doesn't have undergroung runners or anything. Last year there was always tons of caterpillars and butterflies around that vine. I did have a bad problem with the wasps though. I even sheltered some cats inside to protect them from the wasps.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by sis3 9b (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 28, 10 at 18:27

Tom, I don't know if you ever saw my thread last year on my new butterfly garden? If not I have posted the link below. There are many photos and a plant list part of the way down. I am just north of you in Tarpon.

If you can wait until the USF plant sale next month there are vendors there that sell many, many varieties of butterfly plants. It was the USF plant sale last June that got me into trouble :)

Here is a link that might be useful: My new butterfly garden


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom everyone's advice is spot on. Really nothing to add that could be anymore helpful except that when studying under a Master Butterfly gardener and writer she once told me to think like a butterfly. Butterflies don't need perfect rows, they thrive in a openly messy garden. Don't forget the common weed type plants so loved by many of the skippers and wood nymphs. Tickseed, coreopsis, fogfruit, and some others. If you dare allow one small area of your butterfly garden to go totally native and weedy.

Also leave a space of soil that the male butterflies can puddle in after a rainfall or watering. Don't forget that a few small shrub type plants can provide cover from the intense weather like hard rains and extremely hot weather.

And lastly enjoy after your hard work the fruits of your labor. Check out my photos on photobucket link. Too many pictures too little time.

zoozue


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom, sorry to jump in on your thread, but...sis3..what is wrong with cypress mulch? I saw you suggested considering something other than...


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom, they love my plumbago and loved my firebush. Unfortunately, we had to dig out the firebush last week. I thought I got the dwarf variety and it turned out to be the one that hits 7 ft. It was planted too close to the house. But it grew like a weed. I had to prune it 3-4 times a year.

Sis, love your pics.
Julie


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Good point on the Firebush, Julieyankfan. I am also looking to part with mine due to the same reason - except, mine is actually a 'dwarf' version. It still is too large for the location I have it in (in a small foundation planting spot). It will grow to 4 ft.

I can give you that as well if you want it along with the duranta.

Tom - I'm not sure right now on the April swap. I 'may' be in CA - waiting for an update on my trip. Also, if I end up moving, I'll be giving away a lot of my plants, so not sure accumulating more is a good idea.

Right now, planning anything garden-wise is a challenge for me.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by sis3 9b (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 29, 10 at 15:25

sharbear - it is widely believed that using cypress mulch is bad for our environment. The following quote is from the Florida Friendly Yards booklet.

"Do not use cypress mulch because harvesting from the wild depletes wetlands."

Often the mulch has a very distinctive red color where dyes have been added. The dyes are considered toxic and leach into the soil.

Other mulches are just as effective but do not harm the environment. I use pine bark which I purchase locally, filling my truck bed each load. Pine bark weathers to the color of dirt which I think is attractive and looks natural under plants and for paths.

Julie - thank you!


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 29, 10 at 20:25

Amber - thanks, I love Willowtree, it's just about my favorite nursery so I'll give them a try as soon as I get the old stuff pulled out.

Sis - WOW! I just bookmarked your link :-) And, me thinks I'll be making the USF sale (double smiley)

Zoozue - random it is, with some grouping of plants. I was thinking of taking a large glazed bottom saucer and filling it with sand and keeping it slightly moist with the occasional sprinkle of salt. What do you think? And, thanks for the tip about low thick bushes for climate protection, any particular suggestions? Nice album, I can't wait until I have some too! I love to see pictures of your garden layout too.

Julie - yikes! I bought a firebush last year and have no idea if it's a dwarf or not. It has remained small only because so far I've kept it in a 3 gallon container.

saintpfla - bummer about the move but I hope things work the way you want them to. I'll take your dwarf firebush and the duranta and I certainly understand your hesitancy to start anything new.

Tom


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

I love Willow Tree Garden Center. Carroll's is nearby, but I just like Willow Tree. Milkweed is easy to grow from cuttings, much easier than seeds. Dutchman's Pipe is so common, Garden Centers don't sell it. You need seed from someone who has it. Just comes up everywhere. Start with the milkweed and go from there. Butterflies are wonderful. Best pets in the world. No problems, no noise, no litterbox, no vet bills, no trouble with the neighbors, and when they die--you don't even know it.
theo


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Photobucket my favorite is the pipe vine, have a huge one up the front tree. only downside is it is so big that the whole front yard get covered with caterpiller poop! all they do is eat and poop! what a life!


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom, don't forget the Green Thumb Festival at Walter Fuller Park on April 24-25. The first 500 people on both days get a free butterfly plant. This is one of the best plant sales and right in your backyard! The admission is free. Get there early and you can shop, then be on the line by 9am to get your plant.

Julie


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom- I saved some seeds from my pipevine last fall. I can mail some to you if you want. I haven't tried to germinate any yet so I don't know if they grow well from seed or not. If you want them, e-mail me your address.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

I purchased my Dutchman's Pipevine from Colorfield Farms at the USF plant sale (of course!) last June. The cold weather knocked it to the ground but it's roaring back now!


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 31, 10 at 19:31

Theo - I've GOT to see your place. Your HERE in my backyard and you've been doing this for 15 years! I need to see what you and Amber have done...if only in pictures.

Walli - beautiful picture, great back-lighting!

Julie - I'm embarrassed to admit I've never been to the Green Thumb Festival but I guarantee I'll be there this year ;-)

Amber - I'd love to try some seeds, CYE. While you're probably a little colder than where I am I still would like to see some pictures of your garden too.

Sis - I'm not one to wait to see if the seeds work out, I will be at the USF plant sale next month ;-)

One way or the other I definitely see some Pipevine in my future :-)

Tom


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom- I am awaiting your e-mail. My garden is not quite up to speed after "The Big Chill" but the pipevine is still mostly green so I will take a picture of it and post it here. If you're are in St. Pete I don't think it is much colder here. I live in Largo/Seminole area. I even managed to keep a bottle palm alive!

Julie- I so love the Green Thumb Festival. I volunteered there last year and I got to help hand out the free plants. It was so fun. The only drawback to the volunteering is that I kept wanting to abandon my post and check out the vendors before everyone bought the best stuff:)


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

the only thing I have to add is to remember butterflies are solar powered. They want to be in the sunny parts of your garden. Given the choice of flying to a plant in the sun and one in the shade they will go for the sun. If you can let one milkweed go to seed, you will never buy another milkweed plant in your life. Several years back my hubby decided to "save" one plant by starting a caterpillar relocation program, and he kept moving the baby cats off of one plant until it went to seed. I know have milkweed everywhere! Also, beware of wasps and toads. Both will eat your cats. Hubby also has a toad relocation program where every toad goes into a bucket and gets driven to the other side of the lake and released. Porterweeds and pentas are also big hits in my yard. There is a small black butterfly that flies so fast you can barely see it that does a million mile an hour hit and run in the moss roses that I keep in baskets in the summer. I have also had little blue skippers that love the plumbago. Good luck, you are starting an evil addiction...you have been warned.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

My favorite butterfly attractors: pantas, tithonia, zinnia, and butterfly bush. They are not host plants but they will put some color in your landscape.

Christine


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 1, 10 at 18:45

Amber - I sent you "another" message, I think? :-) :-(

Coorscat - so warned, I'll be retiring in a few years and everyone tells me I'll be bored. What do you GW'ers think :-) Thanks for the info about letting a milkweed plant go seed, I'll do that. And thanks for mentioning Porterweed, it looked intriguing to me and with mboston's endorsement I'll definitely add it to the other must-plant "blues" (Plumbago and duranta).

Christine - pentas, zinnia and butterfly bush are covered. Silvia sent me some mexican sunflower seeds but I have no idea if it's tithonia. Do you have any seeds to spare?

Tom


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by whgille Oakland, FL-Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 1, 10 at 18:58

Tom,

You are going to be busy with your new butterfly garden. I want to see a lot of pictures when is done.:)

Silvia

Here is a link that might be useful: mexican sunflower


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

tom in my garden, hands down, the biggest draw is my chaya--mine is old and big enough that it blooms all summer and fall. i hope it came through the freezes... it's still green around the trunk, so i'm optimistic. if you want cuttings when it's grown, i can send you some. they are ridiculously easy to start. in a year or two the plants become huge (christine's must be 8')


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom, I just got an email from Kerby's Nursery in Seffner and they are having a Butterfly Weekend April 10-11. It says they will give you all the info you need to create a butterfly garden. I was there last weekend and I'm pretty sure they had a lot of butterfly plants already. I don't think you have to wait till then. They are very helpful there and knowledgeable. Go to www.kerbysnursery.com.

Julie


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

"I'll be retiring in a few years and everyone tells me I'll be bored. What do you GW'ers think"...From what I've seen of your post I doubt it. You'll probably have more projects going than you can keep up with... Like me. If not, I'm sure the wife will think of a few. ;>)

john


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 2, 10 at 18:15

Silvia - thanks, I'll post pictures as things develop. Are those the same Mexican Sunflower seeds you sent me?

Michael - oh boy, now I have to Google/Wiki chaya and learn everything I can about it...you know I'll have to have some :-)

Julie - I'm working at least half-days that weekend but I think I'll make the trip Saturday afternoon. I've always wanted to check them out since everyone gives them such high praise...thanks for the info.

John - I agree. Cathy will be 2-3 years behind me before she retires so it also looks like I'll be doing the laundry and cooking, but the weekly house-cleaning service is NEVER going away :-) I received your seeds yesterday, thanks!

Tom


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by sis3 9b Pinellas (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 2, 10 at 23:47

John, retirement is just a cruel myth! When you retire someone steals 8 hours from all your days and several days from each of your weeks! You find that you have more to do than you remember ever having to do before, but everyone expects that you can do even more because you are 'retired' and have a lot of time on your hands! Bored! Fat chance! :-)


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

I spotted a whole new load of Dutchman's Pipes today at Lowes.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

I found this picture of the Dutchman's Pipe from last summer.

arbor


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

i just noticed today that my chaya was sending up new shoots... i was a little worried, but it looks to have come through the cold ok. in a month i'll have cuttings for you, tom, if you like.


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 12, 10 at 20:25

Amber - looks like I'm going to need an arched arbor/trellis for the front. It's obvious the my little Cattle Panel cages that are only 14" per side and 5' tall are not going to cut it :-(

Michael - please save me some cuttings. It's going to take me probably a month to clear out the front and be ready to start on the new garden so I'll definitely be ready then. If you saw my other post I have to establish some vining flowers on the back arbor, then I'll move to the front.

Tom


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

Tom - Yes, Tithonia is also called Mexican sunflower too. Sounds like you have some from Silvia. They are easy to find on seed racks at the stores.

Christine


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RE: We want to design a Butterfly Garden - help please

  • Posted by saldut 9-10 st pete, fl (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 13, 10 at 8:16

Tom.. any time you want to, you are welcome to come and dig some of my stuff, I have volunteers all over the place now, lots of pentas, lantana, blood-leaf, borage... I had a tree-guy come and trim down those huge trees in the back-yard and am working on that now... what a difference getting some sun in there..... sally


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