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Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Posted by JenniferinFL 9B Florida (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 14:54

I'm looking for a yellow butterfly attracting flower for my butterfly garden. Right now it has milkweed, red pentas, 'hot lips' salvia, a passion vine, plumbago, and a pink salvia/sage type plant.

I'm thinking something yellow but not very daisy-ish?

Area gets at least 7 hours of sun. Fragrant would be an extra bonus.. :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

How about yellow asclepias?
I think it is also called milk weed, which you already have. Is yours not yellow?

I have some seedlings I can share with you if you want some.

Also, cassia (senna) bicapsularis is a yellow tree/shrub that is a good host plant.

Susie


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

I do have milkweed, but mine is more orange. I had trouble with it dying out in the middle of my butterfly garden, but it has done well snug up against the house foundation. Unfortunately this empty spot is further out where I had tried to grow it before without success. It's funny you mention the yellow milkweed, because I've seen it a lot this year. Does yours do well out in the open? If so I may just have to try the yellow milkweed and hope to have better luck with that than the orange one.


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

You could try the Yellow Gold lantana. It's a hybrid of Lantana camara, the invasive one, but is theoretically sterile. Lantanas are huge nectar sources for butterflies. There's also the native Lantana depressa, it's yellow with white around the edges I think, but good luck finding one. There are also coreopsis flowers, but those might be getting too 'daisy-like' for you. Goldenrod is another popular option for Butterfly gardens. Umm.... that's all that readily comes to mind...


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

What about a yellow zinnia? Zinnias never fail to attract butterflies around here. Or perhaps yellow coreopsis, sunflowers,yellow gaillardia? If you want something more than a nectar plant, cassias have yellow flowers & are larval plants for sulphur butterflies...


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Well, luck struck for me today! Stopped at the local nursery and picked up both cassias in 3 gallon pots for $6.99 and by some crazy miracle they had Lantana depressa from Grandiflora nursery in Gainesville. It looks like the real thing, so hopefully it is!
Thanks for the Cassia suggestions, I would never have noticed them at the local nursery if I wasn't looking for them. Same with the Lantana depressa, I've been there 20 times and never saw it there.


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 18:49

Mexican cosmos would do well, a real bee and butterfly magnet, it does get ratty toward the end but reseeds every year and doesn't suffer from mildew like the zinnias....

 photo P1040185.jpg

Tom


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Do you happen to know the scientific name of that one? When I search Mexican Cosmos I keep getting a pink flower as the result, or, do they come in different colors and that's why I keep just finding the pink one?


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 18:41

Do you happen to know the scientific name of that one? When I search Mexican Cosmos I keep getting a pink flower...

My bad, most of us call it that but it's actually cosmos sulphrus. The leaves are broader than the typical downy-feather cosmos leaves and rather than pink and white variations these are yellow and orange. Any of us here can send you seeds, drop me a line at my page and they'll be off to you this weekend ;-)

Tom

This post was edited by tomncath on Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 18:45


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Tom
I just sent ya an email, (for seeds) and I forgot to mention how I remember you beginning your butterfly garden.

Did you ever post "after" pics?

And Jennifer - do you have any pics of your butterfly garden? Would you like some yellow asclepias seeds (or, if you go to Syvia's party, I can give you some babies)?

I am new to this house up here and my plants are still in pots, so I can't comment on your question of how they do out in the open.

Susie


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 18:47

Did you ever post "after" pics?

Hi Susie, no, I'm still working 50hrs a week and slowing down quite a bit, just too exhausted from work to hit it like I used to on weekends.... I have a small patch in the back overgrown with red/pink pentas and red/pink salvias that the butterflies and bees love, which I watch from a picture window while working from home, but I've done nothing with the front yet and may not for a while while I'm figuring out the back since that is where we spend most of our time.

I'll send you some seeds this weekend, I just went out to the veggie garden and in three minutes picked 200-300 cosmos seeds :-)

Tom


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Thank you Tom! I sent you an email about the seeds. My seed starting hasn't seen superb results, but I've gotten some things big enough to bloom for me.. lol

Susie, I would love to try some seeds, do you know if these need to be soaked first? I know some of the ascepiads are funny like that..

Unfortunately I probably won't make it to any kind of garden meet for awhile. Work full time and have a 2 year old, so, I don't get out much other than to work.

I attached a photo of my butterfly garden so far. I had just put in a couple plants last year and now this year I moved all the survivors around and added new ones. Hoping for more survivors next year! Last year I just didn't have enough dirt to work with, so some of my seed grown died without even getting planted into the ground and I picked up too much in the way of clearance plants that won't grow in our area. Learned a lot! lol This year I didn't buy a single plant until I had my 8 yards of mushroom compost dropped off. At least this year I won't run out of dirt.

I'm hoping to do a caterpillar garden around the corner with most larval host plants. Planted the senna's there for now and hope to do some kind of garden bed with other larval plants all grouped together.

Here is a link that might be useful: Butterfly Garden in progress


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

My seed starting success was rather dismal until I moved my seed starting station out into the lanai. Since then I've lost maybe 2 or 3 seedlings, all the others have flourished, even when we were getting temp drips down to the 30's in March. I just kept my seedling rack against the wall of the house and covered it on the sub-40 nights.

Personally, I would just mix some of the larval plants in with the nectar plants. That way, while the larva are munching away at the growth, there is at least 'something' to look at other than chewed up plants.


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Good job on the garden, Jennifer! Lots of hard work, right? But it will be so cool to stroll through it on your nice pathway and watching the butterflies everywhere.

Leekle's right about combining larval and nectar plants - some are both anyways, like milkweed. And it looks like you have a couple roses in there for beauty, too. So when you and your little one are looking at the pretty fowers, you can also be on the look-out for caterpillars and pupae.

I've never soaked my seeds, unless I happened to read some directions somewhere. Milkweed seeds float through the air and germinate wherever they land, so I figured they are easy.....but soaking probably wouldn't hurt.

Send me your address and I'll send some next week.

Susie


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Agreeing w/ Leekle2ManE - best to mix things up - the nectar plants draw them in so they'll be more likely to find the larval plants. Mixed plantings can also help hide the caterpillars from predators.


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 1:27

1) Nectar plants draw them IF your plants are the only ones in the wide vicinity. Otherwise, visits occur more at random.

2) The worst predators are wasps. They spend much time hunting on and among both nectar plants and host plants. Wasps are numerous in all of the wide vicinity.

3) Hosts ARE the draw of butterflies that are wanting to lay eggs;
food is not their focus then. Hosts should be unobscured, numerous, grouped.
(Food near, yes. Also grouped.)


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Jennifer, do you know what kind of cassia you purchased? You need to be careful with them. Most are bushes/trees. They are not nice little plants that you can place next to low growers like your lantanas.

As far as grouping is concerned I differ a bit with the advice above, in that the butterflies will find their host plants pretty much anywhere you plant them if the butterflies are in the area. Some larval plants that I have are huge trees (Black Cherry, Sweetbay Magnolia, two different cassias, Bay trees). No grouping there...

The absolute best nectar plant, in my opinion, is the large red penta sold at some of the better nurseries (Biosphere). It also attracts hummingbirds. If you want a super hummingbird plant that is ever-blooming and that also attracts butterflies (mostly sulphurs) I recommend the cuphea schumannii. Of the many hummingbird plants in my garden it is currently the best.


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 10, 14 at 10:37

> Some larval plants that I have are huge trees

That is a good modification.
True that I had the small plants in mind.

> Bay trees

Could it be? By any chance are they Red Bay?
It would be great to know that any have survived.


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

What is/are the main butterfly season(s) in S. Florida? I know, whenever the plants are in bloom, right? But is there a peak season when activity is at its highest level?

Where I'm at-Wisconsin-that would really be a meaningless question. If I looked out the window all day today, I am certain I would not seea single butterfly! But down thataway, it seems things could be more complex in that regard, no?

+oM


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Yes, I believe mine are Red Bay. I have little ones popping up in different areas of the yard and I let them grow. The big ones don't look very good. Don't know how long they will live.

I do have a pretty large spice bush for the Spice Bush swallowtails. Supposedly they also use the Sweet Bay Magnolia as well. My Sweet Bay Magnolia is huge. It's next to a water spout from the gutter. It loves the moisture. I thought it would bring me many tiger swallowtails, but I don't see all that many. I'm thinking of getting another spice bush. They like moisture, so I will have to find a good place--not easy.

I'm thinking about a camphor tree... I know it's on the invasive species list, but it is great for the spice bush swallowtails.


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 11, 14 at 17:27

About the Spicebush Swallowtail,
the supposed host, Sweet Bay Magnolia, "huge";
the prospechve host, Camphor tree, invasive,
and the known host, Spice Bush, "pretty large" :

Sweet Bay Magnolia's support of SbSt butterfly is a perfect example of how
- a similar species name is enough for someone to originate erroneous information, and
- informational sources do not verify copied information that they post,
thereby proliferating myths.
By the way, the same myth exists for Palamedes St.

Birds have given me Camphor trees, a huge, and a big,
which in turn gave me several small, and now dozens of new.
SbSt visits every year are relatively infrequent,
which means that there is plenty of host in the area.

So, your pretty large Spice Bush could be sufficient.
More than sufficient may or may not get more visitors,
depending on area-wide host presence.
Worth a try, assuming that you work out a way to supply the water.


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RE: Yellow flower for attracting butterflies?

Not many visitors on your camphor trees? Oh, well, I guess it's another Spice Bush tree for me then. I have another spot under a water sprout that will have to do. It likes swampy soil.


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