Ben
Ben
  • Hometalker
  • San Diego, CA
Asked on Sep 4, 2012

What are the different names for the butterfly plant?

NaomiBenDouglas Hunt
+6

Answered

What are the different names for the butterfly plant? I want to get one for our porch because our daughter is obsessed with butterflies. Also, does anyone know if they also attract bees?
9 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 4, 2012

    There are a whole host of butterfly plants, Ben. The plants that people often refer to as "butterfly bush" are from the genus Buddleia, the most common species of which is Buddleia davidii. The plants people refer to as "butterfly weed" are from the genus Asclepius. If you really want to attract butterflies for your daughter, you need both nectar sources, like the Buddleia, and larval host plants, where females can lay eggs (and which the developing larvae then eat-butterfly gardens are not really tidy places). Generally speaking, plants that attract butterflies also attract bees.

  • All flowering plants will attract pollinators of which bees are part of. But ... if you are concerned about stings, most of the pollinators are very docile. It is the yellow jackets that look for sugar (soda, Ice tea, ice cream, cake, etc) that are more likely to be aggressive and sting a person. The pollinators don't really care about humans when they are collecting pollen from a plant. As far as which Budlia to use, it will depend upon the available space you will allow for the plant to grow. Some of the Budlia will put on 7-10' of new growth each year (IE: Black Knight) while the dwarf varieties are better suited for pots on a porch or patio.

  • Ellen H
    on Sep 5, 2012

    Lots of flowering plants attract adult butterflies. Don't forget that butterflies are very susceptible to poisons so if you want butterflies, you have to be careful about spraying for insects. Many butterfly attractors are sun-lovers, so when you say "for the porch", do you mean in a pot on a covered porch? Or around a porch? You will need to be sure you have enough sun. Visit a public garden nearby and photograph plants that seem to attract butterflies, take photos to a nursery and get assistance to find what fits your requirements.

  • Michelle W
    on Sep 5, 2012

    Ben, you can plant Milkweed for the Monarch caterpillars to eat and Lantana or Cosmos or butterfly bush for the nectar. Many of our local nurseries have these plants and more. You can also check out the Monarch Program in Encinitas. There is a lot of Monarch info online too. It is truly amazing to watch the stages of the monarch.

  • Ben
    on Sep 6, 2012

    Ellen, the photo idea is a great one. As for the porch, we intend on buying some of those pots that hang over each side of the railing. Not to worry about sun - plenty of it to be gotten.

  • Ben
    on Sep 6, 2012

    Michelle - my daughter is obsessed and we took her to a butterfly farm on a recent vacation. She was in heaven. They went through all the stages and let her hold a caterpillar and butterfly. It was like the "hungry caterpillar" book coming to life.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 6, 2012

    Ben, for a butterfly plant that would work in pots you hang over a railing, you can't do better than Pentas.

  • Ben
    on Sep 6, 2012

    Douglas, thanks!

  • Naomi
    on Nov 29, 2012

    A butterfly plant sounds like a great idea! @Yair Spolter would love it too!

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