Planting your first hummingbird and butterfly garden can be incredibly fun and rewarding, but where do you even begin? With a wide variety of flowers and bushes available, it can be a little daunting to know where to start. But the good news is that in order to create the garden of your dreams, all you really need is a little bit of knowledge and guidance. Before you know it, you’ll be waking up to the sweet whirring sounds of hummingbird wings and butterfly kisses— while also having the best garden in the neighborhood.
Consider Your Gardens Structure
In order to successfully create a butterfly and hummingbird garden, you really should consider the entire structure of your garden. When trying to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, consider a tiered environment that provides variety to your garden. Between all of the different herbs, flowers, vines, trees and shrubs to choose from, a great place to start designing your dream garden is with your local climate. You should select plants that are native to your area, which will provide more nectar than hybrids and exotics (bonus: native plants will also thrive with minimum care). And by choosing species with different blooming periods, your garden can supply nectar all season long. This makes for some incredibly happy hummingbird tenants! Also, keep in mind when planting your new garden to leave some space between each plant. That way, hummingbirds have room to navigate and hover in place when they find that special flower they like. You can even structure your garden to conserve more water by grouping similar plants together. Find help on how to structure your garden here.
Flowers for Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds are far from dull when it comes to their flower preferences! Hummingbirds are incredibly visual creatures and although red flowers are famous for attracting these little winged gems, they don’t discriminate when it comes to colors. They are often seen frequenting purple, white, orange, pink and blue blooms too! Listed below are some of the best plant species known to attract hummingbirds.
Flowers for Hummingbirds
|Butterfly bush (also attracts butterflies)||Hollyhock||Fuchsia (grown as a perennial in certain zones)|
|Columbine||Impatiens (Impatient Lucy)|
|Scarlet Sage (grown as annual in cooler climates)|
|Scarlet Trumpet Honeysuckle|
Flowers for Butterflies
If you’re looking for your garden to be a butterfly haven, you’re in luck! Butterflies and hummingbirds are similar when it comes to their plant preferences. They both love nectar bearing, brightly colored red, yellow, orange, pink and purple tubed flowers (although butterflies tend to like shorter flower tubes). But in order to keep butterflies in your garden all season long, you need to be willing to feed their offspring! This means incorporating plants that serve all stages of a butterfly’s life, including a place to lay eggs, food for their larvae (caterpillars), places to form chrysalides, and nectar sources for adults. Just remember to opt for plants native to your area, since butterflies and their native plant counterparts have co-evolved over time and depend on each other for pollination and survival. Below are some of the best plants to attract butterflies and feed their offspring!
Flowers That Attract Butterflies
|Alyssum||Dianthus||Musk Mallow||Shasta Daisy|
|Bee Balm||Globe Thistle||Oregano||Verbena|
|Cosmos||Lavender||Queen Anne's Lace|
|Scarlet Sage (grown as annual in cooler climates)||Marigold||Scabiosa|
Plants That Attract Butterfly Larvae (Caterpillars)
Consider More than Just Flowers
It’s no secret that butterflies and hummingbirds love their brightly colored blooms, but what about other plants? Yep, they love those too! Beyond blooms, bushes can be a great provider of food and shelter for your new winged friends. They even serve as great hosts for caterpillars. Bushes are also easier to maintain and can add an aesthetic appeal to your garden. They fill in open spaces in corners or can be used as a beautiful border for your garden. Below are some of the best bushes to keep the fluttering fun going all season long.
Best Bushes for Butterflies
|Buddleia (butterfly bush)||Rose of Sharon||Firebush|
|Bluebeard||New Jersey Tea||Meadowsweet|
Remember Your Climate
When finalizing your gardening game plan, just remember to keep in mind your climate and the plants that are native to the area. Butterflies and hummingbirds are both attracted to plants that are native to the area in which they live, so it’s best to stay local when it comes to the flowers and plants you place in your garden. If you do choose exotic flowers or plants, be prepared because they may be harder to care for and usually don’t supply as much nectar as native counterparts.
While you’re tending to your beautiful, new hummingbird and butterfly haven, you may need some help with the rest of your landscaping. Contact the local landscaping professionals at The Grounds Guys! They offer a variety of landscape services that will keep your yard looking it’s absolute best and give you more time to do what you really enjoy.