Sweet Garden Treats that Bring Home the Butters
Some people believe that by creating a butterfly garden focused on monarchs, you’ll leave the other poor pollinators out in the cold…that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Here are 7 butterfly garden plants frequently visited by both monarchs and hummingbirds:
1. Zinnia Flowers
Zinnias add multi-bursts of color to your garden with their showy blooms. The taller varieties attract large butterflies including monarchs, and those hyper-winged hummers.
2. Agastache ‘Ava’
Originally, we added this to our northern garden as a hummingbird plant. It quickly became their favorite nectar plant, even outperforming the widely-known hummer fave black and blue salvia. Then, when the monarchs started to gather for their great fall migration, I was amazed to see they were also frequent fliers to this agastache hybrid!
Buy this for the hummers, but look for some late season visits from monarchs too.
3. Mexican Sunflowers
Possibly the best nectar flower for attracting both beauties to your garden doorstep. The brilliant orange flowers are tall beacons of light that the pollinators can’t miss. However, the dwarf varieties have not shown similar powers of attraction.
Get more bang from your asclepias selections. These 3 varieties are all monarchs host plants for caterpillars, and nectar plants for both monarch butterflies and hummingbirds…and lots of other pollinators!
(The same can’t be said for most other milkweeds.)
If you’re concerned about hurting monarchs by growing tropical milkweed, there are simple precautions you can take in the few warm weather regions where this can be an issue. Click Here for More Info
5. Brazilian Verbena
One of biggest pollinator draws for North American gardens. These tall, purple flower spikes attract hummingbirds, monarchs, and a Noah’s Ark Boatload of other precious pollinators.
6. Dwarf Butterfly Bushes
We grow a dwarf butterfly bush variety that gets lots of monarch and hummingbird visitors, but most varieties are a huge draw for both.
If you live in a region where butterfly bush is considered invasive, try a non-invasive or sterile cultivar or look for an alternative butterfly plant.
The non-invasive buzz variety has been a huge draw to our northern butterfly garden, and it has never self seeded. It even survived the 10th coldest winter in Minnesota history!
7. Callistemon spp. (bottlebrush)
This Australian native grows well in warm regions of the US attracting monarchs, other butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. The brilliant red blooms are on continuous display from spring through fall. Callistemon species can grow to 10 feet, but smaller cultivars are available.
…and while you may think that hummingbird feeders are just for the hummers, a bold monarch male at Valerie’s house might have to disagree: