En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Wildlife gardening in Georgia

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

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

Drought tolerant plants for butterflies and hummingbirds
November 16, 2009 - I have about 150 sq ft of space in our backyard (urban OKC residence) that gets direct sun in the morning but is 100% shaded by 11-Noon from 2 large Sycamore trees. The space is on the west side of t...
view the full question and answer

Plants for swan food
July 03, 2012 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants, I have a farm in VA with a large pond or lake fenced in. I am rescuing a pair of swan and want to grow plants around the fence and pond that they can eat. Could you suggest an...
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Creating a wildlife refuge
January 30, 2003 - We would like to make my yard more of a wildlife refuge by using a portion of the lawn for plants and shrubs and may afford shelter for birds and other wildlife. Can you please recommend what we shoul...
view the full question and answer

Dead woody plants in wildlife garden in Austin
March 02, 2011 - I am an enthusiastic and pretty successful wildlife gardener, have studied my Wasowski "Bible", but I can't get any evergreens established in my yard! We live on blackland clay, which I amend with ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center