En EspaŅol

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
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

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

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

Plants for field mice in habitat restoration in Dallas County, Texas
March 14, 2011 - For grassland and bottomland habitat restoration projects in North Central Texas (Dallas), what native plants would be beneficial as food sources for field mice. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Plant for hummingbirds shelter in Briarcliff TX
August 10, 2009 - I am looking to grow a container plant for the birds to enjoy on my back deck. A little greenery and possibly a place to rest for the birds would be great. This faces west and has no shade. There a...
view the full question and answer

Plants for butterflies, birds and bees at 7000 feet in Arizona
April 28, 2009 - What are the best plants for feeding and sheltering bees, butterflies, and birds in/near Flagstaff AZ. We are at 7,000 feet elevation and I am finding it very difficult to create a backyard habitat.
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