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

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

Smarty Plants on Blue Cohosh
April 21, 2005 - I acquired a potted plant of Blue Cohosh at a sale. My question is where can I plant it? I live in Seattle but also garden in Zone 5 at Lake Wenatchee Washington. Shade or sun? How hardy is it? ...
view the full question and answer

Growing conditions for Giant Coneflower from San Antonio
August 09, 2013 - Rudbeckia maxima is considered to be a perennial plant for the sun but I have had a difficult time maintaining it in a pot in full sun before attempting to plant. Do you feel that it will survive and...
view the full question and answer

Planting Texas Persimmon in enclosed planter from San Angelo TX
May 23, 2013 - I want to plant a Texas Persimmon (in West Texas) in an enclosed planter 4' X 4' X 2.5' deep. What would be a good planting medium. Does it need to be deeper?
view the full question and answer

Sides for raised gardens
May 01, 2008 - I am wanting to put in raised gardens. What is the best product for the sides? Wood? If so, what kind? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Chile pequin from Spring Plant Sale in Austin
June 08, 2011 - Re: chile pequin purchased at your Spring 2011 sale: it grows, seems to thrive, but sets no flowers and so bears no fruit. It's in terracotta in Ladybug potting soil, on a shady apartment patio. How ...
view the full question and answer

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