Garden

I try to provide both host and nectar plants in my garden. Some of the nectar plants are pentas and lantana. Host plants include my passion vine for zebra longwings and gulf fritilaries, milkweed for monarchs and queens and parsley and dill for swallowtails.
Garden
Pentas, especially the red ones seem to be about the most popular nectar plant in the garden. I keep quite a few around the garden, but also some in pots. My favorite butterfly plant is penta. This tropical plant offers red, pink, lavender, and white blooms all summer long. It can bloom in full sun or shade and is a great container plant. Place a few pentas on the patio along with firebush and lantanas and you will have butterflies and hummingbirds all summer. Pentas do not qualify as a xeriscape plant but they are worth a little extra water. Pentas attract hornworms so keep your eyes peeled for the voracious caterpillars. The hornworm moth is a spectacular night feeder but one caterpillar can put a penta out of action for 5 or 6 weeks. Perhaps the solution is to plant enough that you can let one or two get stripped bare by the hornworm.

Mexican Sunflower The Mexican Sunflower really likes the hot summer days. Very attractive to butterflies, they tolerate infertile soil, drought, and neglect. Very easy for new gardeners. The flower heads are borne on fragile hollow stems that must be cut carefully with a sharp knife lest they bend and collapse.

Milkweed plants are the host plants for Monarch butterflies. Aside from attracting Monarch butterflies for egg-laying, milkweed entices swallowtails, fritillaries, and hairstreaks for nectaring. Milkweed Milkweed also draws hummingbirds and hummingbird clearwing moths to the garden for nectar.
The passion vines are quite prolific and the flowers are beautiful. They require little care. The passion vine grows very well on a trellis. However, when the zebras and fritillaries move in, they can really make a mess of the leaves, but the vine is prolific and grows very fast, so there'll almost always be enough leaves for the caterpillars.

Back to Top