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Mr. Smarty Plants - Hanging basket container plants for butterflies and birds

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Thursday - April 08, 2010

From: Stephenville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Hanging basket container plants for butterflies and birds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Looking for ideas for hanging baskets that would attract butterflies or birds for interest to a shut-in in North Texas. These would be outside of southwest-facing windows that overlook a paved parking area. Up to eight hours of direct sunlight. They can be taken down in winter so don't have to be hardy. Windows open so they could be watered but a windowbox is not a possibility. Could a vine survive in a basket?

ANSWER:

On our Recommended Species page you can find at least three lists that can help you pick out plants for your hanging baskets—Container Garden Plants for Central Texas, Hummingbird Plants for Central Texas, and Butterflies and Moths of North America.  Since Erath County is right at the edge of the Central/North Central line, Central Texas plants should work just fine.  Here are a few suggestions from the lists that are found in the area, that attract birds and/or butterflies and like growing in sunshine:

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Glandularia bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Oenothera macrocarpa (bigfruit evening-primrose)

Phlox pilosa (downy phlox)

Salvia greggii (autumn sage)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Vines:

For the vines, especially the clematis which tend to have brittle stems, you will need to 'train' the plant to twine up the wire holding the basket or provide some other support for its vines.

Maurandella antirrhiniflora (roving sailor) is cited as growing in part shade (2-6 hours per day) but might do fine in your sunlight.  You can let the stems trail or you can train them to twine up the wire holding the hanging basket.

Clematis drummondii (Drummond's clematis)

Clematis pitcheri (bluebill)

Clematis texensis (scarlet leather flower) might do well in that much sun, but it is listed as growing part shade.

You can read tips about Planting Clematis in Containers from Herbs2000.com.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of the above plants:


Conoclinium coelestinum

Glandularia bipinnatifida

Melampodium leucanthum

Oenothera macrocarpa

Phlox pilosa

Salvia greggii

Callirhoe involucrata

Oenothera speciosa

Maurandella antirrhiniflora

Clematis drummondii

Clematis pitcheri

Clematis texensis

 

 

 

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