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

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

 

 

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Disappearing oranges from Satsuma orange in Austin
June 25, 2008 - I had many tiny future oranges on my Satsuma Orange Tree until a few days ago. Suddenly, all were gone except one. They weren't on the ground and the tree itself seems incredibly healthy. It is gr...
view the full question and answer

Keeping bonsai plants alive in Athol MA
September 21, 2009 - For the past 12 years I have raised bonsai plants in AL and FL, but recently moved back to central MA. My collections consists of Japanese maples, ginkos, bald cypress and ficus benjamina. I have a ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a container bog garden in North Texas
April 06, 2010 - I live in Plano, just north of Dallas. I've developed a recent interest in water gardens and am considering getting my toes wet with a container bog garden. I have an old galvanized wash tub that I...
view the full question and answer

Need a source of mature horsetail plants in Memphis, TN.
May 06, 2012 - Where can I find mature horsetail plants in Memphis,Tn.? Need enough to fill a 6 foot long by one foot wide planter Need for it to look like it's been there forever.
view the full question and answer

Hearty, bushy native plants for windowboxes in Abilene, TX
October 08, 2005 - I live in Abilene, Tx and am a horrible gardener. I would love to have window boxes with some sort of hearty bushy plant. Any suggestions, I'm at a total loss...? Thanks!
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center