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Easy to grow plants that invite winged visitors to your garden!

By Karen England

Try adding some or all of the following plants to your garden since these plants are easy to grow and attract both Hummingbirds & Butterflies. Add a water feature to your garden and the little visitors might even linger. Remember to never use pesticides if you are trying to host butterflies & hummingbirds because they are definitely not compatible.

Buddleja davidii or “Butterfly Bush” - Full sun. Semi-evergreen shrub that likes well drained soil. The branch ends are adorned with small fragrant flower clusters in the form of a spike that are available in deep blue, purple, lilac, yellow and white colors. 

Alcea rosea or “Hollyhock” - Full sun. Sow seeds now (late summer) for bloom next season. Choose reds and pinks for hummingbirds and all colors for butterflies.

Digitalis purpurea or “Foxglove” - Full sun on coast. Short lived perennial with a full range of flower colors in 2 inch bell shaped blossoms on tall stalks that rise from clumps of large green leaves.

Ceanothus varieties or “Wild Lilac” - Full sun. Evergreen shrubs with flower colors in white, pale blue, blue & dark blue. Most varieties are native to California and when established are drought tolerant. 

Cuphea varieties - Full sun or partial shade. Perennial border plant with lots small tubular flowers.
Available in a wide range of colors.

Lavandula species or “Lavender” - Full sun. Evergreen herb with fragrant purple blossoms prized by crafters and cooks. Drought tolerant when established. 

Rosmarinus officinalis or “Rosemary” - Full sun. Much loved evergreen herb with blue flowers.

Savia varieties or “Sage” - Full sun. Wide variety of colors and annual and perennial varieties available. Try Salvia leucantha or “Mexican Bush Sage” for non-edible landscape use and Salvia clevelandii or “Cleveland Sage” for a culinary sage with beautiful blue blossoms that is native to our local Cleveland National Forest.

Penstemon or “Beard Tongue” - Full sun or partial shade. Perennial with bell shaped flowers that come in a full spectrum of colors. 

For a lengthy list of plants that attract butterfly larvae, butterflies and hummingbirds consult the completely revised and updated Sunset Western Garden Book ©2001, pages 116-121.

Karen England is the "Queen of Edgehill Herb Farm".


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