Butterfly gardens for the most part need to be in full to part sun. You will look for plants, trees and shrubs with open flowers that provide plenty of pollen.
Pineapple Guava is a tall shrub or understory tree. 8-10′ by 6′, evergreen full to part sun
Butterfly gardens are a beautiful accent to any space. You are creating a space to invite butterflies, caterpillars and larvae by planting the plants that house and feed these beautiful creatures. There is a huge collection of plants that attract all sorts of butterflies and here are some of my drought tolerant, low maintenance favorites.
Mexican Bush Sage is a full sun semi-evergreen shrub that grows to 4×4′. Huge bee attraction as well.
Pride of Barbados-super drought tolerant. Full sun. 10′ x 10′
Golden Showers Thryallis, I love this shrub. It is semi-evergreen filled with beautiful yellow flowers. reaches to 4′ tall x 3′ wide.
Paprika Yarrow is an excellent plant for Central Texas, evergreen, colorful and medicinal. 2′ x 2′
Herbs of all kinds can be huge larvae, caterpillar and butterfly attractor.
Butterfly Weed, feeds Monarchs in particular. Full to part sun, 3′ tall by 2′ wide.
Echinacea plant is a deciduous medicinal plant. 2′ x 2′
Stonecrop Sedum is a great butterfly plant that is also evergreen, very low water and no maintenance other than cutting back spent blooms.
Texas Senna is a large shrub that attracts Sulphur butterflies and for that reason I love this one. Full to part sun, evergreen , very low water and low maintenance. 10′ x10′
Althea or Rose of Sharon is a great large shrub that is deciduous in the winter but stunning when blooming. low maintenance low water, full to part sun.
Cosmos are a great butterfly attractor and re-seed readily each year. Full sun annual that comes back each year on its own from seeds it drops. plant can range from 2-5′
Dill weed is specifically food for swallow tails, many herbs serve as host plants for larvae and caterpillar as well as a place to attach chrysalis for metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.
zinnia is an annual plant that makes an excellent cover crop and provides food for butterflies. collect seed heads after the bloom and keep in a paper beg until the following spring for new flowers each year.
Greggs Mist is an excellent choice because it attracts Queens and Monarchs. Full to part sun, semi evergreen and little to no maintenance. 2′ tall and 3′ wide.
If you are a do-it-yourself type this is a great list to get started. Prepare your beds by reading my blog on soil and compost then properly space your plants for the best success. If you would like information on a design to get you started, contact me at 512-733-7777 and I can provide most small butterfly garden designs for as little as $350.00 in most areas.
Obviously, the selection of plants is vast and you can pick and choose from an array of colors and textures to create your own butterfly garden. With very low water and little to no maintenance with these native and adapted central Texas plants the return is far greater than your efforts, so this planting season make a little room for butterflies to visit, then sit back and enjoy the show. Here is a great link of the butterflies in Texas as well as all over the country. By identifying the butterflies in your area you can research the host plants to attract the varieties you hope to see.