Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Wednesday - February 11, 2009

From: Quitman, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Butterfly gardening in Quitman, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We want to establish a butterfly garden in our back yard. What plants should we establish to attract the butterfly for food and host planting?

ANSWER:

Please read our How-To Article Butterfly Gardening, which not only gives you details on how to go about this project, but also a list of suggested plants, all of which will do well in your area. You can follow the links on each plant in that article to find out how to propagate it, how large it gets, even what butterflies it attracts. At the bottom of that webpage is an extensive Bibliography of related publications. Click on a title to get more information about the book. Some you may find in the Library or might wish to purchase. From our Special Collections, see this list of plants for Butterflies and Moths of North America. You can go through and find a plant you are interested in, but before you plant it, check the information on states to which that plant is native on the webpage. If it is not native to Texas, it probably would not prosper in your area, nor would the butterflies it attracts be around.

One more website that has a lot of information and links on it is The Butterfly Site.com. Remember that their information will be more general, and not necessarily involve butterflies or plants that you would normally find in East Texas, but will still give you a lot of help.


Asclepias tuberosa

Monarda didyma

Rudbeckia hirta

Echinacea purpurea

 

 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Shrubby options for a bird lover in New Jersey
September 07, 2011 - Could you please recommend a native shrub to NJ that grows to about 3-4 feet, is very low maintenance, does well in afternoon sun and is also something the birds will like? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Information on Betonyleaf thoroughwort
September 04, 2008 - I purchased Conoclinium betonicifolium (Betonyleaf thoroughwort) at the spring 2008 LBJ WC plant sale. I've not been able to find much information on the plant in the typical places, including the...
view the full question and answer

Want to Amend Soil Without Harming Earthworms in Dallas Area
March 16, 2011 - I have a totally odd question. I live in the Dallas area in the blackland soil. I am removing sod from part of my back yard and will replant with nectar and host plants for butterflies. The soil is...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly plants for Austin
May 21, 2008 - Hummingbirds come to our Mexican honeysuckle early in the spring, and then come late in the summer when the Turk's caps bloom. We have rocky soil, and a fairly shady garden. What could we plant that ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for East Texas school gardens
May 19, 2008 - I am a teacher in San Augustine, Texas (which is in the Eastern Pineywoods region). I have started an outdoor classroom/schoolyard habitat at our school. We are in the process of planning our plant ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.