En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - February 19, 2008

From: Milledgeville, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Wildlife gardening in Georgia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for native shrubs/flowers that will attract butterflies and/or birds. I live in Milledgeville, GA which is in central GA, 1 mile from the Oconee River. Some areas of my yard are full sun, some are partial sun, and one area has fairly moist, rich soil. Any suggestions? Thank You.

ANSWER:

To start with some basic information, go to Creating a Wildlife Garden in our How To Articles from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. This article makes suggestions in how to lay out a wildlife garden for maximum use of the space. Especially note the advice to avoid herbicides and pesticides, as they can just as easily harm the wildlife you are trying to protect as the pests you are trying to get rid of.

Next, take this link to Butterflies and Moths of North America, a special feature of our website. This will give you a list of 356 plants native to North America that attract wildlife. Obviously, you don't want to wade through all that, many of them would be unsuitable for your space and others not normally found in Georgia. Click on "Narrow Your Search", which gives you options for location, habit, duration, light requirements, and soil moisture. You can play around with this until you find your optimum list. We have prepared three short lists for you, as a demonstration of how this works. We selected Georgia for location and perennial for duration in all three lists. One list is for herbs (habit), one for shrubs and one for trees. One has dry soil requirements and two moist soil. When you look at each plant page, scroll down to "Benefits" and you will find what kind of wildlife it commonly attracts or shelters. Wherever possible, we selected plants that attracted both birds and butterflies. These are only suggestions, you can rearrange your requirements as you decide where you want to place certain plants, checking for sun and moisture conditions, etc.

Herb, 6 or more hours of sun, dry soil

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve (smooth blue aster)

Shrub, part shade, moist soil

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)

Trees, part shade, moist soil

Asimina triloba (pawpaw)

Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam)

Chionanthus virginicus (white fringetree)

Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree)


Aquilegia canadensis

Fragaria virginiana

Asclepias tuberosa

Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Cornus alternifolia

Rhus aromatica

Viburnum acerifolium

Asimina triloba

Carpinus caroliniana

Chionanthus virginicus

Liriodendron tulipifera

 

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013 - I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
view the full question and answer

Larval host plants for Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterflies
October 31, 2009 - I am looking for a list of larval host plants for Painted Lady butterflies. Could you provide such a list?
view the full question and answer

Plants for no sun in Austin
May 12, 2010 - I need recommendations for shrubs that can withstand no sun, something that possibly blooms but does not attract bees, wasps, or any stinging insects (hummingbirds or butterflies ok).
view the full question and answer

Monardas in section Cheilyctis not visited by hummingbirds.
February 03, 2011 - This is a correction. In your plant database, Monarda punctata is said to attract hummingbirds, but all peer reviewed research suggests it, and other members of Monarda in section Cheily...
view the full question and answer

Forage plants for deer in Central Texas
December 06, 2014 - Looking for best forage plants and seed for deer forage, Canyon Lake-New Braunfels, Tx. Have searched listings, but areas are NE or other and not relevant to my location. Your time much appreciated. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center