03/22/2020 by George the Garden Guy"
Everyone loves butterflies and hummingbirds! So why not make a part of your landscaping a butterfly garden? But where do you start? Typically a butterfly garden does well in full to part sun. If you're going to invest the time, work, and cost of materials for a butterfly garden the very first thing you should consider is the soil. It doesn't make any sense to plant a butterfly garden in poor or average soil. If possible mix in some organic compost in your already existing soil. Or better yet, remove about 12" of soil in the area where you are planning the garden and refill with good potting soil or at least mix in 50/50 with your current soil.
Second is select your plants. Here's a list of pants that draw butterflies and hummingbirds in Jacksonville. While its not exhaustive, its a great place to begin.
Lavender, Firebush, Lantana, Iris, Calla Lily, Canna Lily, Begonia, Dahlias, Delphinium, Fox Glove, Geranium, Phlox, Daylily, Texas Sage, Buddleia, Dianthus, Pentas, Blue Daze, Gaura, Salvia, Sage, Verbena, Firecracker. For specifically attracting the Monarch Butterfly try, Milkweed, Large Zinnia, Agastache, Buddleia, and Bottle Brush.
Keep in mind hummingbirds are especially attracted to red and blue.
When staging your plants where you want them to go, keep in mind you need to know the overall height, width etc. of each plant. Not what it looks like now, but what about 2 or 3 years from now? Give enough room for them to fill in together accordingly. Most butterfly gardens are planted so that when they grow in a few years they're packed in tight with a hodge podge of colors, varieties, shapes and sizes. Just keep in mind to place the taller varieties toward the rear of the garden. Also make sure you fertilize with a timed release product and use as directed. Osmocote works well. Also approx. once a week a liquid application of something like miracle grow does wonders. Keep in mind that butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to nectar. So if you have a lot of dead and dying blooms they'll see whats on the menu elsewhere. Its a good idea to dead head and trim plants accordingly.
If you plant the correct plant varieties you should see butterflies patronizing your garden almost immediately. Hummingbirds take a little more patience. Maybe add a canister of nectar to seduce them to where they can't resist. Before you know it your butterfly garden will become the envy of the neighborhood and a great conversation piece.
If you'd like us to do it right and plant your butterfly garden just give us a call at Holiday's Nursery & Landscaping. 904-613-9918