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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - June 18, 2007

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Perennial plants for butterfly garden
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in Plano, TX and I am trying to create a backyard garden which will attract butterflies. I prefer bulbs and perennials so that I will not have to replant again and again like annuals. Also which rose plant will be considered green plant (minimal pesticides) for Plano? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

A great place to start is at the Native Plant Information Network clearinghouse articles. There you will find a variety of PDF-formatted articles of interest to native plant gardeners. You will probably be most interested in the articles, Gardening and Landscaping with Native Plants and Butterfly Gardening Resources. A nice list of butterfly-attracting plants may be found at the Texas A&M online article, Butterfly Gardening in Texas. Which plants you ultimately choose to use in your garden will depend largely on your garden's soil, light and moisture conditions as well as your own design considerations and use requirements.

A wonderful native rose that is largely pest- and disease-free is Prairie rose, Rosa setigera. This sweet scrambler features dark pink, single flowers that fade to light pink and then to white over a several day period. The visual effect of multi-colored flowers on the plant during its short, spring flowering season is striking. As a bonus, Prairie rose is totally thornless.

 

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