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

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Friday - August 14, 2009

From: Atlanta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Butterfly garden plants for partial shade in Georgia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a patio that is brick with 2 small areas for planting. The area has partial shade and soil is moist and looks dense. Currently there is an Ivy Bush in the back left corner which I like and has started to climb the fence, several Hosta's and some Monkey Grass lining the space. I want to add some color and make the plant area more colorful. I was wondering if I could have a butterfly garden of some type with the partial shade that I have?? Also what other types of flowers would work? nothing tall though. Thanks!!!

ANSWER:

Absolutely!  You can have a very colorful butterfly garden and you can choose the plants yourself by going to our Recommended Species page and selecting Georgia from the map or pull-down menu.  You can then use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select criteria for your plants.  For instance, under GENERAL APPEARANCE, select 'Herb'; under LIGHT REQUIREMENT select 'Part shade' and under SOIL MOISTURE select 'Moist'.  When you scroll down the page for each plant you will see a section called BENEFIT which will tell you if the plant is a larval food or nectar host for butterflies.

Here are a few recommendations from Mr. Smarty Plants, but there are many more possibilities:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Coreopsis auriculata (lobed tickseed)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)

Stokesia laevis (Stokes' aster)


Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Coreopsis auriculata

Conoclinium coelestinum

Monarda fistulosa

Phlox divaricata

Stokesia laevis

 

 

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