Hummingbird & Butterfly Gardens
One of the best ways to attract a hummingbird is to plant a perennial garden. This would require specific perennials surrounded by your hummingbird feeder. Hummingbirds eat 1-1/2 to 3 times of its own weight in food a day. They feed on flower nectar, small insects and spiders. Make sure you do not use insecticides in your perennial bed if you are attracting hummingbirds. One it will kill off the insects they feed on and second it will make them sick if the ingest the insecticide. Many think that hummingbirds are only attracted to red flowers but this is a myth. Hummingbirds enjoy the nectar from a variety of color and shaped flowers.
The following annuals have flowers which attract hummingbirds:
- Morning glory
- Scarlet Runner Bean
The following perennials have flowers which attract hummingbirds:
- Aquilegia (Columbine)
- Digitalis (Foxglove)
- Heuchera (Coral Bells)
- Lobelia (Cardinal Flower)
- Monarda (Beebalm)
The following shrubs have flowers which attract hummingbirds:
- Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
When creating a garden for the butterflies you need to keep in mind what kind of butterflies are native to your area since each species prefers different plants. These gardens can vary in size; they can be a window box, a landscaped area or a wild unattended area. Your garden should have at least 5-6 hours of sunlight a day since butterflies like to warm themselves. Be sure there is water nearby such as a rain bucket or just a mud puddle kept moist. Butterflies need protection from the wind as well.
Butterflies need two types of plants in the garden. There are nectar plants which provide food for the adult butterflies and host plants that provide food for their offspring. Butterflies are attracted to bright flowers with flat tops that make it easy for them to land and feed. They also enjoy many herbs such as pineapple sage, basil, parsley, dill and thyme. It is very important that you DO NOT USE pesticides in your garden.
Some Butterfly Favorite Plants:
Sedum autumn joy
These website’s provide more information about butterfly gardening: