Add these plants to your garden to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
This garden is designed to draw visitors of the avian persuasion.
Illustration by Gayle Ford
• Parsley (Petroselinum crispum). Plant lots of this useful biennial, both the flat-leaved and curly varieties, in full sun to part shade, and let it reseed itself from year to year. It will reach about 18 inches tall. If you’re a patient gardener, you can grow it from seed; others can start with a purchased plant.
• Dill (Anethum graveolens). This reseeding annual will grow to about 3 feet. Sow seed in full sun in the spot where it is to grow—it has a taproot and doesn’t transplant well.
• Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa). This hardy perennial, also called butterfly weed, will reach about 2 feet and show off brilliant orange or red flowers. Grow it in full sun.
• Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata). Hardy to Zone 7, this flowering vine can grow in partial afternoon shade and starts easily from cutting or seed. Grow it on a fence or let it scramble across an open area.
• Rue (Ruta graveolens). This hardy perennial grows in 3-foot mounds and stays green through the winter. It can be started from seed, cutting or a division from a friend’s garden. Caution: Some people get a rash from handling the leaves.
• Artemisia (Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ or ‘Valerie Finnis’). This hardy perennial forms a lovely silvery mound in the garden, to about 2 ½ feet. Start it from cuttings or division and avoid the more aggressive artemisias, such as ‘Silver King’.
• Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). A tall shrub with arching branches, butterfly bush comes in a wide variety of flower colors. It is hardy in Zones 5-9 and blooms heavily in a sunny location. Grow it from cuttings.
• Goldenrod (Solidago spp.). Garden-worthy varieties of this cheerful yellow native, some of which stay to about 3 feet, are available at nurseries. Grow this hardy perennial in full sun.
• Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus). This fast-growing deciduous tree or shrub with showy purple flowers starts easily from cuttings. Grow it in full sun to light shade.
• Salvias (Salvia spp.). Many annuals and perennials in this wide-ranging genus are suitable for the butterfly and hummingbird garden, especially those with red tubular flowers, such as S. coccinea, S. greggii and S. elegans, known as pineapple sage.
• Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). This 3-foot hardy perennial can be started from seed or division. Grow it in full sun, where it can spread by runners but is easily controllable.
• Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). A garden classic, purple coneflower grows about 2 to 3 feet tall in full sun. Start this hardy perennial from seed or try some of the newer flower colors now available at nurseries.
Kathleen Halloran is a contributing editor living and gardening in beautiful Austin, Texas.
Click here for the original article, Garden Spaces: Attract Birds, Butterflies and Hummingbirds .
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