Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Tuesday - February 19, 2008

From: Milledgeville, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Wildlife gardening in Georgia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for native shrubs/flowers that will attract butterflies and/or birds. I live in Milledgeville, GA which is in central GA, 1 mile from the Oconee River. Some areas of my yard are full sun, some are partial sun, and one area has fairly moist, rich soil. Any suggestions? Thank You.

ANSWER:

To start with some basic information, go to Creating a Wildlife Garden in our How To Articles from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. This article makes suggestions in how to lay out a wildlife garden for maximum use of the space. Especially note the advice to avoid herbicides and pesticides, as they can just as easily harm the wildlife you are trying to protect as the pests you are trying to get rid of.

Next, take this link to Butterflies and Moths of North America, a special feature of our website. This will give you a list of 356 plants native to North America that attract wildlife. Obviously, you don't want to wade through all that, many of them would be unsuitable for your space and others not normally found in Georgia. Click on "Narrow Your Search", which gives you options for location, habit, duration, light requirements, and soil moisture. You can play around with this until you find your optimum list. We have prepared three short lists for you, as a demonstration of how this works. We selected Georgia for location and perennial for duration in all three lists. One list is for herbs (habit), one for shrubs and one for trees. One has dry soil requirements and two moist soil. When you look at each plant page, scroll down to "Benefits" and you will find what kind of wildlife it commonly attracts or shelters. Wherever possible, we selected plants that attracted both birds and butterflies. These are only suggestions, you can rearrange your requirements as you decide where you want to place certain plants, checking for sun and moisture conditions, etc.

Herb, 6 or more hours of sun, dry soil

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve (smooth blue aster)

Shrub, part shade, moist soil

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)

Trees, part shade, moist soil

Asimina triloba (pawpaw)

Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam)

Chionanthus virginicus (white fringetree)

Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree)


Aquilegia canadensis

Fragaria virginiana

Asclepias tuberosa

Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Cornus alternifolia

Rhus aromatica

Viburnum acerifolium

Asimina triloba

Carpinus caroliniana

Chionanthus virginicus

Liriodendron tulipifera

 

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Native plants for condo apartments in New York
October 14, 2005 - Hello, and thank you for this wonderful source of help! We live in Hastings on Hudson, NY in a brick building of 7 condo apartments. Our corner unit has one narrow flower bed out front on the stre...
view the full question and answer

Xeriscape demonstration garden
October 30, 2007 - I am working with the city of Schertz to rejuvenate a xeriscape demonstration garden. We want to plant a hummingbird/butterfly garden using native plants. The current bed is currently overrun with ber...
view the full question and answer

Duck-resistant plants for pond in California
March 31, 2005 - I want to plant around a water pond and I need some plants that my ducks will not destroy. Please help.
view the full question and answer

Wildflower meadow for Arkansas
September 16, 2007 - We want to create a 1/2-1 acre wildflower style "meadow" using native plants that we can naturalize. I found information for our area (Central Arkansas) on this website that is helpful, but I am als...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping and wildlife gardening in Clifton, TX
November 29, 2004 - I am moving to Clifton, TX, and I will have an empty lot in the town along with my own home/lot. What kind of soil can I expect? I want to grow a wildflower site to just sit and enjoy and feed the a...
view the full question and answer

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