Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am a teacher working with very young students to establish a wildlife garden. We received a donated butterfly bush of a smallish cultivar, but wondering if there is a native shrub not too large for our corner garden that would also attract butterflies, etc. What are native alternatives to butterfly bushes?
On our Recommended Species page you will find under "Special Collections" a list titled Butterflies and Moths of North America containing native plants that are valuable to moths and butterflies. Once you have opened that database with more than 350 species of native plants, you can limit the list to your area by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and choosing either Maryland or Virginia. This will give you a list of more than 180 native plant species for butterflies that grow in those states. You can also use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select for what type of plant you want (e.g., Shrub, Herb, Fern, etc.) and to choose plants that will work with the amount of sunlight and soil moisture your site has.
Here are a few suggestions from that list using Maryland as the state choice. There are many more choices of plants for you to see.
Soil improvement near Kerrville, TX December 11, 2010 - We live in the Kerrville area; the soil is extremely shallow and deficient. The yard consists of mainly native plants, with a concentration of plants for butterflies and birds. What kind of soil and ... view the full question and answer
Winter trim-back of plants in butterfly garden January 05, 2007 - I had a wonderful butterfly garden this past spring, summer, and fall. This was its first year of planting. Should I trim the plants that have died back due to frost? I'm worried about destroying ... view the full question and answer
Butterfly and medicinal plants for New Braunfels July 10, 2009 - I am in zip code 78132 and we just put in a garden at our front steps- so my choices for plants need to fill a need for beauty and function. I want to include plants that will host and feed butterfli... view the full question and answer
Non-invasive plants for hummingbird and butterfly garden January 20, 2009 - Hello :)
I've been building a huge Hummingbird and Butterfly garden. Up until now I've only had the Milkweeds and Dill for host plants for the Monarch and Black Swallowtail Butterflies. I'd love t... view the full question and answer
Amending soil for butterfly garden in Houston April 01, 2013 - My girl scout troop will be planting a butterfly garden at a middle school in Houston. In researching plants to use, we have come across some such as echinacea, rose vervain, galliarda and Texas gay... view the full question and answer