Audrey Gillespie | Special to the Reporter-NewsUpdated 10 hours ago
I am so excited to see a few butterflies making their way to my new garden space. I am greedy for more.
If you, too, want to enjoy more of the ballerinas of the air this fall, you can.
This is just for instant gratification folks. I will let you know where to get information on butterfly gardening year-round at the end of the article.
So how do you entice those lovely butterflies to your property? It’s simple. Bring home flowering plants (now you know why I am so excited).
Before we get to the fun part, you do want to be sure you buy plants that have not been treated with a systemic insecticide. These work by being taken up by plant tissues, making the plant poisonous to insects. Butterflies are insects. You see the problem. Ask a trusted nursery professional for guidance. Organically grown plants are the very best option.
If you don’t want the effort of gardening in the ground, butterflies will be perfectly happy to visit your potted plants. More is certainly better.
There are some wonderful nectar-rich choices that also provide fall beauty for our area. Here are just a few.
Gregg’s Mistflower. Eupatonium greggi. The fuzzy lavender flower heads are a butterfly magnet. Butterfly Milkweed. Asclepius sp. These are blooming heavily now. They are both a host plant for Monarchs and a nectar source.Fall Aster. Aster oblongifolius. This plant is absolutely covered in lavender flowers for a full month in the fall. Frostweed. Verbesina virginica. This plant is not just a good buttefly plant, it puts on a wonderful show in the winter, when the stems exude water that freezes into fascinating shapes.Turk’s Cap. Maleviscus arboreus. The uniquely shaped red, pink, and white flowers enjoy the shade.Rock Rose. Pavonia lasiopetala. This native plant sports single pink blooms until frost. Chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemum spp. There are so many wonderful forms and colors to choose from. My favorite is ‘ Country Girl,’ that produces large, pink, daisy-like flowers.Henry Duelberg Salvia. Salvia farinacea ‘Henry Duelberg. Beautiful long spikes of dark purple/blue blooms are prolific on this native wonder.May Night Salvia. Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night ‘. The ground-hugging foliage shoots up fat spikes of luscious purple flowers. It blooms more prolifically in the spring, but is too beautiful to leave out.Lantana. Lantana spp. These keep going strong and keep attracting butterflies in the fall.
Both the Big Country Master Gardener Association and the Big Country chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Association can be reached at the Taylor County Extension Office, 325-672-6048 for more complete information on butterfly gardening. The book "Butterfly Gardening for Texas" is an excellent resource, written by Geyata Ajilvsgi.
Don’t forget the upcoming BCMGA fall festival. You will love it. Get information by calling the above number or register online at https://squareup.com/store/bcmga.
Until next time, happy gardening!