Return to the Florida Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Is this the year of the longwing?

Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 13:27

I get lots of frits, a fair number of swallowtails, mangrove skippers and monarchs, an occasional admiral, but rarely zebra longwings - until this year. They are all over my yard and laying eggs in my bamboo! I've never had them like this before, is anyone else experiencing an unusual number of zebra longwings right now?

Tom


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Yes, I have plenty, but usually do. Mine aren't laying eggs in bamboo though, they're going after the passies I grew intentionally for them. Good to hear you have so many, I love butterfly gardening.
When they hatch, are you going to move them to passiflora plants I'm assuming you have?


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Same thing here In Boca Raton. I have Asian Yellow bamboo. I was out there cutting it this afternoon, the Zebra Longwings were all around me!


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 15:35

Hi Tom

I have a lot of different butterflies in my garden...and today I saw blooms in the plant that you gave me...

 photo June2014_163_zps90d50ec5.jpg

Silvia


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 16:43

When they hatch, are you going to move them to passiflora plants I'm assuming you have?

...Same thing here In Boca Raton. I have Asian Yellow bamboo....

Never had them like this before and I could not find the eggs even if I wanted to, see below.

Hi Silvia, I'm jealous your Echo Rojo is blooming and mine are not, yet ;-) That's because mine are still in pots, I finally decided to put them in ground this year but have been waiting for the roofers finish so I don't have to worry about them getting trampled :-( The roofers start tomorrow :-)

Tom

This post was edited by tomncath on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 16:51


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 19:05

Tom, good news about the roofers and I remember that bamboo, it is huge!

Silvia


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Tom, I remembered your photos of bamboo, also, and was very tempted to replicate against my screened-in porch. I hated to block the view of the lake, though. Yours is against the side of your house, right? I think you have the tomatoes and veggies on your lake side, right?

Carol in Jacksonville


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Jatropha and Wild Coffee seem to be the nectar of choice for the Zebras here. I think the last two mild winters has a lot to do with the large numbers we have. Really cool on how they cling to each other at night, kinda forming a chain of butterfly's hanging downward from a secluded branch.


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

I have seen one zebra longwing up here at the Lake/Marion border. My Firebushes, which took a hit during winter, are just starting to go into bloom though and I am hoping they bring in the Longwings again as they did last year.


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

I've always had lots of zebra longwings, except right after Frances, Jeanne and Wilma. I wondered if I'd ever have them again, but alas, they came back and are regular visitors here. They especially love the hamelia patens.

I have often wondered where butterflies go at night. Well, last year one evening around dusk I was outside and something caught my eye. Imagine my surprise and delight to see Zebras bedding down for the night, hanging from the Virginia Creeper vines.

Who know where other types of butterflies are hanging at night.

FlowerLady

Here is a link that might be useful: FlowerLady's Musings


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Tom, Zebra Longwings love the shade on hot days. That may be why you are seeing them in your bamboo. You might also have a vine growing there that you don't see, but the Zebras do.

As stated above the mild winters help these butterflies stay alive in more northern areas. In zone ten they are around all the time, I think. I'm near Silvia in Central Florida and I have many, many Zebras around now and I will have them as long as we don't have a freeze. A hard freeze will kill all of them and pretty much all of their caterpillars. I have a number of passion vines that they use as larval food. They really love the hamelia patens (fire bush) as nectar food. Especially if it is in partial shade.


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 10:15

Silvia, the roofers are here! :-) :-( My cat is very high strung, impossible to board so I'm off today to keep the stress level lower for him but boy do I have a headache from all the noise :-(.

Yours is against the side of your house, right? I think you have the tomatoes and veggies on your lake side, right?

Yes Carol, the bamboo shades the west side of the house and historically it has been a veggie garden on the south boardring the lake...I'm moving away from veggies and more toward a hummer/butterfly garden on the south side.

Jatropha and Wild Coffee seem to be the nectar of choice for the Zebras here.

M, it has been the jatropha in the back where I have occasionally seen them til now.

... My Firebushes...I am hoping they bring in the Longwings again as they did last year.

I bought two dwarf firebushes to put in the back once all of this is done. I hope the dwarfs will be as productive as the regular firsbush, I just need to keep the size down to no more the 15'.

...I have often wondered where butterflies go at night. Well, last year one evening around dusk I was outside and something caught my eye. Imagine my surprise and delight to see Zebras bedding down for the night, hanging from the Virginia Creeper vines....

How cool, I'll definitely be looking around the bamboo this evening.

...You might also have a vine growing there that you don't see, but the Zebras do.

They really love the hamelia patens (fire bush) as nectar food. Especially if it is in partial shade.

Tom, there are absolutely no vines in my bamboo (b.malingensis), on the west side of the house but my neighbor on the east side (b.textilis) has bleeding heart growing in his bamboo, I'll check it out tonight to see if they are nesting in there.

As above, I have too small dwarf firebushes that I was going to put in the back as I convert from veggies to ornamentals but perhaps I'll put one in the front on the north side since there is partial shade there from the oak trees.

After seeing hummers for the first time this last fall I've watched your post closely because almost all of what I'm moving toward is hummer attractors.

Tom


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Late to this but - yes! This is the first year in a long while that I have a number of zebra longwings gliding around the yard & laying many eggs on the corky-stemmed passion vines.
Unfortunately, it appears that wasps are following behind & consuming the larvae - hoping they miss enough for a new generation.


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 18:04

Tom, I can relate to the roofers and the cat,lol. My dogs are worse.:)
I got the stairs to take a picture of the flower in the plumeria, at least I didn't fall down and Mark was right about the color, lol. So the other one I am growing in the pot is similar or the same.

 photo June2014_183_zpsf43c5b89.jpg

And yes it is next to my neighbor's peaches,and my tomatoes. We had a mild winter so I didn't protect it, it is planted in the ground.

 photo June2014_184_zps63a28040.jpg

Silvia


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 18:56

Carol, glad to hear you're getting more than usual too. I have lots of wasps but with so much bamboo I hope the wasps are not getting them all.

Silvia, see my post tonight on N's thread, that plummie isn't a NOID.

Tom


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Tom, glad to hear that you are going to create more space for hummingbird and butterfly plants.

Probably the best vine to attract hummers is the coral honeysuckle. It grows well and isn't invasive. They will come to the bleeding heart vine that your neighbor has also.

The two best hummingbird plants in my garden are the large purple porterweed (Stachytarpheta frantzii) and the Cuphea Schumannii. The porterweed is also excellent for butterflies. It is probably the best dual-use plant in my garden. The tall red penta is a close second.

The firebush that you mention (Hamelia Patens) is very good for hummers and, as mentioned above, attracts Zebra Longwings.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cuphea Schumannii


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 11, 14 at 20:15

Tom, thanks for the info.

I know honeysuckle is a fav but I just find it boring, and my neighbors bleeding heart is in a very cramped area that I don't think hummers want to negotiate. I'm going to try the Chilean Glory vine but it is so humid here I that I'm expecting failure, so the honeysuckle will be a back up plan.

I have quite a bit of porterweed and have never seen them work it here, but as you say the butterflies and bees love it and it's been worked hard by these new arrivals, the longwings. I'm going to try the red porterweed since several folks here have said it is a hummer fav.

My first sightings last fall were on the tall red pentas and on pink salvias. I just purchased some black and blue, do you have it and do they work it for you?

Regarding the cuphea, I just started with some micropetala. Have you tried this and if so do they work it for you? I'll try the Schumannii down the road....

Still trying to decide where to put my two HP dwarfs.

Just got some Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea X multifida), do you have any experience with it?

I also got some justicia Orange Flame sticks from Silvia, cuttings off a plant she received from Mark. Look below, one is already blooming less than a month after potting it! Do you have any experience with the justicias?

Tom


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Tom, the black and blue salvia is a winner for hummingbirds. It is probably the favorite salvia for people who grow salvias for hummingbirds all over the country. It likes a lot of water and fertilizer. I have many types of salvias. Almost all are very good for hummingbirds. The best for shade in my garden is the miniata.

I don't grow the cuphea micropetala anymore. It is very good for hummers, but it is seasonal. I can't remember, but I think it bloomed well in the spring and the fall for me. The schumannii blooms non-stop. The only thing that will stop it is a freeze. As far as I know all the cupheas are killed back by a freeze. Probably the favorite amongst hummingbird gardeners is the Cuphea x 'David Verity. It is also ever-blooming. The flowers are smaller than the schumannii, but very numerous.

I grow the justicia Orange Flame, but it hasn't done very well for me. I don' t think I planted it right. It blooms off and on and the hummers do visit it.

The red porterweed is excellent for hummers, but I don't grow it anymore. It is extremely cold sensitive. Any freeze will kill it to its roots. The only one that does well for me (for hummingbirds) is the large purple porterweed (Stachytarpheta frantzii). I have two other porterweeds that do well for butterflies but not for hummingbirds.

I have grown the Cardinal Climber in the past, but it hasn't stayed around for me. I can't remember how good it was for hummingbirds. As I said, for hummingbirds the coral honeysuckle can't be beat, but it is somewhat seasonal. This spring I was at a soccer game in Gainesville and someone had planted a row of coral honeysuckle that was at least a half block long next to the soccer field. The hummers were all over it.

I was going to warn you about the hamelia patens. Even the dwarf is a thug. Mine are now over ten feet tall and sprouting up in many different places. Once planted it is very, very difficult to dig up. It keeps coming up even after you have dug it up the first few times. It wants to spread and spread. The other firebush, the standard one with more red blooms is now over fifteen feet in my garden. I don't know how big or tall they are going to get if there isn't a freeze. They become huge in Central America.

They are excellent hummingbird plants and the Zebras love them as well. The sulphurs (yellow butterflies) like them and other butterflies will visit from time to time. They produce seeds that birds like to eat also.

Overall, for the southeast the favorite species for hummingbird growers is probably salvias. It's hard to go wrong with any of them in my experience. Right now a favorite of mine is the Amistad. It is a purple salvia that is much like the black and blue in that it likes lots of water and fertilizer. It gets big and is a favorite for hummers.


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 7:20

Hi Tom

I am so glad that at least one cutting of the justicia plant made it, your cuttings also survived the trip. They are planted in the ground and putting new leaves already.
I have a few salvias in my garden, one of them is the black and blue, mine spread underground and new one pops up, it is easy to take them out, and they always come back after the freeze for me.

Hi Tom(neighbor)

You should give us a tour of your garden sometimes, you grow so many plants and is nice to see them in a different settings.
In the longwood gardens that I visited recently I saw the pink honeysuckle and it look really pretty with the combo of plants it had in. There are 2 different pink honeysuckle, one of them didn't do that well for me, in the Leu gardens I explained that to one of the vendors and he said that the native pink honeysuckle is the one that does well here.

Silvia


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Silvia, you are welcome to visit my garden anytime you like. It is an overgrown mess in many places at the moment. I have had back problems that have prevented me from doing too much garden work for the last nine months.

Right now I'm seeing many butterflies and only a few hummingbirds.

I don't remember growing or seeing pink honeysuckle.


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 15:08

Thank you Tom for the invite to see your garden. I think a lot of people had troubles with their back this season, it hit home too but now everything is okay. The truth is that we are not getting any younger and have to be careful all the time especially around the garden.

I had the white honeysuckle in Arizona and it smelled really nice. Next year at the Leu gardens sale check the pink honeysuckle vines and ask about the one that is native, I will too.

Silvia

Here is a link that might be useful: honeysuckle


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 18:30

Tom

...The best for shade in my garden is the miniata.

Okay. I'll add that one to the list for new purchases, I have quite a bit of shade.

...David Verity. It is also ever-blooming. The flowers are smaller than the schumannii....

Wow, tough decision. I get no freezes and very little frost so I'm wondering which one to try :-(

...The red porterweed is excellent for hummers, but I don't grow it anymore. It is extremely cold sensitive....

Should not be a problem for me, rarely even get frost here :-)

...(Stachytarpheta frantzii)....

Okay, with limited yard I may just pull the NOID blue porterweed and replace it with this since I see the bees and butterflies work it but have never seen a hummer on the plants.

I was going to warn you about the hamelia patens....

I thought so, I'm hoping the dwarf does not get bigger than 15'.

...Right now a favorite of mine is the Amistad....

I wanted to try this one but could did not find it available now :-(

I forgot to mention I picked up some baby Bat Faced cupheas to try in containers. Do you have any experience with it? I also picked up some pineapple salvias, I'm sure you can share some experience with that one.

Sorry to hear about your back problems, I've been there, had back surgery in 98' so I'm really cautious now.


Silvia, two of the justicias are budding, two are still green sticks with droopy leaves, and two are dead. I happy with those results :-)


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

Tom, you can purchase pretty much any salvia or cuphea by mail order at Flowers by the Sea.

The hummers like the bat-faced cuphea, but the difficulty I had with this plant is that it is low growing, so it has to be put somewhere by itself or in a hanging pot for it to get much usage from the hummers.

I used to grow the pineapple sage and it did well for a while, but it seemed to be very seasonal and didn't spread either by roots or seeds, so eventually I lost it.

The hamila patens glabula or dwarf will spread by roots and by seed. It will come up pretty much anywhere within thirty yards of where it is planted. Once you plant it you will have it forever. The more standard, the hamilia patens, var. patens, is larger, but better behaved in that it doesn't spread out so much either by seed or by roots.

If you are trying to decide between the Schumannii and the David Verity here's some info. The Schumannii is a better hummingbird attractor in my garden. In fact it is the best. However, it does spread--but mostly by roots. The David Verity is more dense. It is a bush and behaves like one. It doesn't spread much, other than growing to be a good size bush.

Hope things work out for you. I don't think there are many hummers around your area in the summer, but the activity should pick up come late August and into September and the winter months.


 o
RE: Is this the year of the longwing?

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 13, 14 at 7:10

Tom, you can purchase pretty much any salvia or cuphea by mail order at Flowers by the Sea.

Thanks, I'll check them out.

The hummers like the bat-faced cuphea, but the difficulty I had with this plant is that it is low growing, so it has to be put somewhere by itself or in a hanging pot for it to get much usage from the hummers.

I'm going to put them in large terra cotta pots so they will be 18" off the ground, and I'll be able to move them around to see where they get the most activity.

I used to grow the pineapple sage and it did well for a while, but it seemed to be very seasonal and didn't spread either by roots or seeds, so eventually I lost it.

Okay, won't have high expectations from it then.

The hamila patens glabula or dwarf will spread by roots and by seed....

Thanks for the warning, I'll just have to keep an eye on it.

...The Schumannii is a better hummingbird attractor in my garden....

Well, that settles it :-)

...I don't think there are many hummers around your area in the summer....

Most likely not but this will give me time to get these plants established by then.

Thanks for all the great info ;-)


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Florida Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here