Contact Us Host an Event 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 - August 06, 2009

From: Kolkata, India
Region: Other
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Butterfly plants for Kolkata, India
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am from Kolkata, India. I have a garden of 200ft x 50ft size, mostly shadowed by big trees. I want to attract butterflies in my garden. Can you please let me know the flowers / plants I plant for butterflies & their babies? What about artificial feeder & others required thing?

ANSWER:

We are delighted you are going to add butterfly habitat to your garden, However, our mission at the Lady  Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and  conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscape. And, when we say "native," we mean native not only to North America but also to the area in which the plants are being grown. Even assuming we could find plants in our Native Plant Database that would flourish near your home, and assuming you could get a supply of them there, the local butterflies probably would not have anything to do with them. Worse, the plants from North America or Texas might become invasive in your area, take over the butterflies' natural habitat and end up driving the delightful little winged creatures away.

We did find a website, My Butterfly Garden Blogspot, on  Butterflies of India.  There are a number of links on that site that might lead you to the information you are seeking. Another website you should visit is from auroville.org on Butterfly Gardens. This site specifies they are trying to return to indigenous plant species (native to India) and why, which is our goal, as well. but for North America. With these two sites and following links and leads on them, you will hopefully find your way to a "Mr. Smarty Plants" of India. 

 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Why is butterfly weeds blooming in October?
November 07, 2013 - I live in Horseshoe Bay Texas and have native landscape environment. Last year, in early September, I had a plethora of butterfly weed in bloom and a large variety and quantity of butterflies. This ye...
view the full question and answer

Deadheading flowers on hybrid Black Knight butterfly bush
July 17, 2008 - I have two Black Knight Butterfly bushes in my landscape. Should I deadhead the flowers on this bush? Also, should I prune this back, if so, when, how much? I live near Kansas City, Missouri.
view the full question and answer

Butterfly plants for Washington DC area
June 28, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am a teacher working with very young students to establish a wildlife garden. We received a donated butterfly bush of a smallish cultivar, but wondering if there is a native...
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic plants for dog yard from Freeport PA
June 24, 2012 - I'm looking for wildlife-friendly native plants that aren't toxic to dogs. I have a place for some small shrubs and/or flowers. And a climbing vine that I could train on a trellis would work espec...
view the full question and answer

Making a perennial cutting garden friendly to butterflies.
February 05, 2016 - I would like to start a perennial cutting garden friendly to butterflies Where can I get a list of plants .
view the full question and answer

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