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

Wednesday - February 11, 2009

From: Quitman, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Butterfly gardening in Quitman, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We want to establish a butterfly garden in our back yard. What plants should we establish to attract the butterfly for food and host planting?

ANSWER:

Please read our How-To Article Butterfly Gardening, which not only gives you details on how to go about this project, but also a list of suggested plants, all of which will do well in your area. You can follow the links on each plant in that article to find out how to propagate it, how large it gets, even what butterflies it attracts. At the bottom of that webpage is an extensive Bibliography of related publications. Click on a title to get more information about the book. Some you may find in the Library or might wish to purchase. From our Special Collections, see this list of plants for Butterflies and Moths of North America. You can go through and find a plant you are interested in, but before you plant it, check the information on states to which that plant is native on the webpage. If it is not native to Texas, it probably would not prosper in your area, nor would the butterflies it attracts be around.

One more website that has a lot of information and links on it is The Butterfly Site.com. Remember that their information will be more general, and not necessarily involve butterflies or plants that you would normally find in East Texas, but will still give you a lot of help.


Asclepias tuberosa

Monarda didyma

Rudbeckia hirta

Echinacea purpurea

 

 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Identification of plant with small lilac flowers in Laredo
May 14, 2013 - Need help identifying the following: small lilac flowers in a cluster with seed pods, unpleasant scent which can be up to 3 feet tall ..wild flower or weed? am interested if it attracts hummingbirds...
view the full question and answer

Non-invasive plants for hummingbird and butterfly garden
January 20, 2009 - Hello :) I've been building a huge Hummingbird and Butterfly garden. Up until now I've only had the Milkweeds and Dill for host plants for the Monarch and Black Swallowtail Butterflies. I'd love t...
view the full question and answer

Dead woody plants in wildlife garden in Austin
March 02, 2011 - I am an enthusiastic and pretty successful wildlife gardener, have studied my Wasowski "Bible", but I can't get any evergreens established in my yard! We live on blackland clay, which I amend with ...
view the full question and answer

Milkweed recommendations for Austin, TX
October 20, 2014 - I live on thin limestone soil in Austin's NW Hills. I'd like to plant some milkweed to help the monarch butterflies in their migration. Which species should I plant, and are those available in our...
view the full question and answer

Plants for hummingbirds and butterflies in Galveston County TX
September 09, 2014 - I am looking for native plants for a butterfly and hummingbird garden. I plan on putting the hummingbird garden in part shade and would like some Fall blooming plants to attract them during migration....
view the full question and answer

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