So far I have isolated various butterfly and hummingbird attracting plants. This time I want to include several on this posting. Some you probably have heard of, others not so much. Typically these are best grown from plant, and not seed (unless you are really good at what you do)
Black Eyed-Susan’s – a classic. You’ve seen them everywhere, and it is a plant that easily transfers from the wild to your personal garden. Also known as Rudbeckia, the blooms on BES last for quite a while, making it a low maintenance plant. It also grows to be a strong bushy flower taking up a few feet in diameter and ~30” tall. Great for cut flowers to use in vases around the house. No need for watering unless signs of wilting begin.
Hyssop – comes in many varieties. I suggest going to a quality nursery for the best choices. Hyssops with trumpet shaped blooms will attract hummingbirds. This plant is also a magnet for bees (which is a good thing!). Be sure to read about and understand how to take care of which hyssop plant you get because each has a different standard for care
Coneflower – another classic. This plant grows and performs very similar to Black Eyed Susan. Wise to sometimes remove some of the bushy leaves within the plant so more blooms can grow. Another flower that is great for cutting. Blooms early in the season, and continues well into the fall. Ideal for dividing after a few years. Great for all varieties of butterflies
Fennel – yes the herb. These perennials get very tall and strong with bushy yellow blooms in the summer. Just leave it alone and let it do its thing.
Milkweed – a plant in high need. This is the primary host plant for the famous Monarch butterfly. It grows to about 3-4’ diameter and 4’ tall. Take the pods that will develop in late summer, remove the seeds and refrigerate. After late the first significant frost plant the seeds to continue populating the plant
Phlox – go with dwarf or garden phlox. There is a mounding variety that blooms for a couple weeks in spring then is gone. Dwarf phlox will grow about 18”. Garden phlox can reach 4’. Great from the back edge of your garden – or idea for filling a small plot with one plant. Phlox comes in many different colors and will continue producing blooms throughout the summer.
A few more suggestions: Lantana, Sedum, Catnip, Ironweed, Aster, Mallow and Butterfly Weed (not bush)
Each of these are winners in any garden and for the most part low maintenance. As with all plants, make sure to know in advance how much sunlight is required, what color the blooms will be, and just how big it will grow.