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 - 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

Listing of plants matched to specific pollinators
July 01, 2014 - Could you refer me to a listing of plants matched to specific pollinators? I have completed the conversion of a local nature center garden to a pollinator garden with all natives. We hope to place ed...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for Globe Thistle in Virginia
June 15, 2013 - Hi, We are trying to get our garden to be 100% North American Native and are at about 90% native to our region. One of the last plants we have to replace is our Globe Thistle. Do you have a good r...
view the full question and answer

Growing Green milkweed vine from seed
July 29, 2015 - I was given some seed for the pearl milkweed vine which I intend to plant, but I can find no information on whether to stratify or scarify them or just plant them. I know some milkweeds require strati...
view the full question and answer

Is Passiflora 'Purple Haze' a host to Gulf Frittilary butterflies?
September 14, 2011 - Is the passion flower purple haze (pasionaria purple haze) a host plant to gulf frittilary butterflies as is the passiflora incarnata passion flower?
view the full question and answer

Winter trim-back of plants in butterfly garden
January 05, 2007 - I had a wonderful butterfly garden this past spring, summer, and fall. This was its first year of planting. Should I trim the plants that have died back due to frost? I'm worried about destroying ...
view the full question and answer

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