Tips for attracting butterflies, birds

Summer brings the garden alive with flowers, butterflies and birds. The right flowers and plants will attract all of them.

Follow these tips and watch the butterflies come. Butterflies like their flowers to be in the sun.

Butterflies need two different types of plants. Nectar plants provide the essential sweet food that butterflies fuel. Host plants provide both nectar and a place for the butterfly to lay her eggs. The eggs hatch out into caterpillars, the caterpillars eat while they change into a chrysalis and then become another beautiful butterfly.

Number one favorite of the Monarch butterfly is the host Asclepias called Butterfly Weed. This plant is fast, easy and pretty. A must have for bringing Monarchs.

If you want butterflies but not caterpillars then here are the top choices. Also called Butterfly Bush, the Buddleia has long spires of blue, purple or pink. You will have not only Monarchs but the Morning Cloak too. Other butterfly attracting plants are: Scabiosa, Pentas, Lantanas, daisies or any flower with a flat daisy like face.

Swallowtails are not as common here but plant some Fennel, Dill or Carrots and let them come into bloom and you may see Swallowtails in your garden. The willow is another host plant but who is going to plant a willow just for the Swallowtails.

Need to cover up a fence in a hurry. The Passion vine is your choice. Beautiful flowers, super fast grower and the Fritilary butterflies love them. Yes they get caterpillars but passion vines grow so fast that the caterpillars natures pruners.

The Hummingbirds love any tubular flowers with lots of sweet nectar. They will flit from fuchsia to impatiens to penstemon. A favorite shade plant is the Streptocarpella called Blue Dancing Flower.

Coral Fountain Russelia makes a great large bank plant with branches 3 feet long loaded with long streamers of red tubular flowers. Hummingbird feeders are great for bringing in those Ruby Throats.

Once you start be prepared to keep them clean and full.

The Oriole with the bright yellow breast will chose your garden if you have an oriole feeder and use any bright red jelly. They like fan palms for both the fiber and to build their hanging nest in.

When you plant to attract these wonderful visitors be sure you have a progression of different

kinds of bloomers or small fruits and a source of water. A bird bath will attract an amazing array of visitors and doesn’t take that much water.

One more thing is necessary for your garden to be complete. Some comfortable chairs for you and a friend to relax in while you watch the wild life enjoy your garden.

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