ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Three Native Perennial Flowers for American Butterfly Gardens

Updated on September 1, 2017
Jeanne Grunert profile image

Jeanne Grunert is a Virginia Master Gardener, gardening magazine columnist, and book author. She is a full-time freelance writer.

Source

Add These Easy Care Perennial Flowers to Attract Butterflies

Butterfly gardening has become quite popular, and creating a butterfly habitat is easy whether you have a simple pot on your back deck or porch planted with flowers or an elaborate butterfly garden area set apart in your yard. One of the secrets to keeping your butterfly garden endeavors easy, however, is to plant native species of perennials. By native, I mean perennial flowers that would naturally grow in your part of the world. Perennials are plants that return year after year to the garden from their root stock, making them a permanent addition to the garden. Because they return on their own each year, that also simplifies your gardening chores and tasks. The following three perennials are my ideal perennials for butterfly gardens in the United States, especially the southeastern United States where I live. They should do well in gardening zones 6 through 9, but do check with your local county Cooperative Extension Office for a list of plants native to your part of the United States.

There are many benefits to planting native species. I particularly love them because they tend to be tougher than imported plants; they developed over the eons in this climate, geography, and soil, and thrive when given half a chance. Many are drought-tolerant and deer resistant too, requiring less water and providing cheerful blossoms for butterflies and people alike to enjoy. Add these three native perennial flowers to your garden this year to attract butterflies and add gorgeous blooms.

Rudbeckia or Black-Eyed Susan
Rudbeckia or Black-Eyed Susan | Source

Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia fulgida, or black (or brown) eyed Susan, is an easy care native perennial that butterflies love. It needs full sun, well-drained soil, and that's about it. It will spread out too, reseeding itself each year and creating quite a nice mass over time of tall 2 to 3-foot plants in the garden. This plant also attracts birds such as chickadees and goldfinches to the garden. You can purchase plants in pots from a garden center or start it from seeds indoors, transplanting seedlings into the garden after the last threat of frost for your gardening zones is over.

Butterfly on monarda.
Butterfly on monarda. | Source

Monarda

Monarda didyma (pictured here) is also called Bee Balm, and it is a wonderful hardy perennial for North American gardens.  There are many other species of Monarda that offer pink, purple and red flowers butterflies love.  Birds, butterflies and bees love the sweet nectar offered by Monarda flowers and you'll have a constant-ever changing dance of wildlife near your Monarda flowers. They require full sunlight, meaning six or more hours per day of direct sunshine, and well drained soil, although they aren't fussy about it.  Purchase plants from the garden center or start Monarda flowers from seeds.

Purple Coneflower
Purple Coneflower | Source

Echinacea or Purple Coneflower

Yet another native perennial loved by butterflies and birds is Echinacea, or the purple coneflower. Actually, Echinacea purpurea is the purple coneflower, but this lovely native perennial also comes in shades of white, yellow, pink and new cultivars offering burgundy hues. The name "Echinacea" comes from the word for "hedgehog" because the first English colonists who encountered the plant thought that the prickly seed cones resembled the hedgehog.

Echinaceas of all types require full sun, defined as six or more hours per day. They like well-drained soil and are typically drought-tolerant. You can grow them from seeds; I like to start mine indoors under plant lights a good 10 weeks before the frost-free date for my gardening zone, then allow them a week or two to harden off or acclimate to the outdoors before transplanting them into the gardening. Water any newly planted seedlings daily. After a few weeks, they should be well established, and many will bloom the first summer. They tend to reseed freely if given the right conditions, so leave some room around your Echinacea patch. Butterflies love the flowers, and many species of birds nibble on the seed cones in the autumn.

Planting a Butterfly Garden

These are but three suggestions for native perennial species that butterflies enjoy. Salvia, native perennial geraniums, gaillardia, aesclepia - all offer even more possibilities for the serious butterfly gardeners. And while they aren't perennials, adding some annual seeds for Bachelor's Buttons and other flowers butterflies love attracts even more diverse species. Be sure to plant your butterfly garden flowers near a window or porch so you can sit and enjoy the ever-changing show. Adding a hummingbird feeder also increases the fun, since many hummingbirds also enjoy butterfly flowers. Plant native perennials in the spring and prepare to enjoy seasons of beauty and butterflies for many years to come.

© 2011 Jeanne Grunert

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jeanne Grunert profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanne Grunert 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Fraser Soul. You made my day.

    • Fraser Soul profile image

      Mildred Lucille Fraser 

      7 years ago from Bloomfield, CT

      I just loved your article. I have a butter fly bush, the cone flower and the bee baum in my garden and I just love how they multiply and increase my chance of atracting more butterflies. Nice hub. I loved the pictures. Thank you for sharing.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Jeanne, I don't recognise the Monarda, I will have to check and see if we have it here in the UK, it's lovely, another great hub thank you.

    • profile image

      Esmeowl12 

      7 years ago

      As much as I love birds and butterflies, I don't have these 3 in my garden! Thanks for the ideas and info. Headed to the store soon to get some of these beauties!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)