How do I make a garden especially for butterflies and hummingbirds? ?


I am pretty much home-bound now due to an unfortunate back issue, and most of my day is spent looking outdoors at the wooded area around our house. I would love to have a flower garden where butterflies and hummingbirds gather nectar. How wonderful to watch them each day! I live in southeast Texas, and I have an area that is well-drained with good soil. What flowers should I plant that will do well here, and how will I manage to water them on very hot days without having to stand with the garden hose for a long time? We have tried soaker hoses, but they just don't seem to do a good job. I will have to hire someone to plant the flowers, but I want perennials that are long blooming, and maybe some annuals that will be prolific bloomers. How can I accomplish this on a retirement-pension budget?

  11 answers
  • Franklinrawley Franklinrawley on Jul 26, 2018
    they LOVE to be around RED and PURPLE flowers. also we have the feeders and they will be back EVERY year if you feed them. Petunias, "hummingbird" vines - they have a trumpet like flower, and you can find all these at Lowes or a gardening store. have fun!

    • Deb Deb on Jul 27, 2018
      Red and Purple! Love those colors. I have one hummingbird feeder, but we will install more. I am unfamiliar with "hummingbird vines," but I will check into them. I have one blooming vine, Rose Feather Vine, a variety of cypress vine with small, star-like pink flowers and feathery leaves. The hummies like it, but I need more plants like this. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Deb Deb on Jul 27, 2018

    Butterflies love my liatris. Don’t know if it will grow in your climate. I am in Michigan

    • Deb Deb on Jul 27, 2018
      Liatris! I have not thought of those! I think they will work in our climate, but I will check to be sure. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  • Susan Houke Susan Houke on Jul 27, 2018

    A friend of mine has put in several humming bird feeders, blue bird houses and an owl house.... her yard is like a bird aviary. She's had 3 sets of babies this year...she feeds them mealy worms and it is an amazing sanctuary!

  • Deb Deb on Jul 27, 2018
    What a good idea! I have one small hummingbird feeder, but we will certainly add more. Blue bird houses would be a nice addition, too. I have never heard of an owl house, but I am intrigued. What kind of owls live in it, do you know? I have seen the mealy worms online. An "amazing sanctuary" is the perfect phrase for what I want! Thank you!!!

  • Franklinrawley Franklinrawley on Jul 27, 2018
    your rose feather vine is what the wife calls her hummingbird vine. I can tell you, once yours bloom save teh brown teardrop shaped point left over from the flower. these are your next years bloomers! if you dont pick them they will throw the seeds every where, so if you want to grow these in certain places, then pick them early. thanks for the response.

  • Deb Deb on Jul 27, 2018
    Great tip about the Rose Feather Vine. I noticed the seeds and will save them. I did not realize they would come up again next year from the areas they drop their seeds! We may have them coming up everywhere! I guess that's an easy way to attract a lot of hummingbirds and butterflies! Thanks again.

  • Leta Smith Sathoff Leta Smith Sathoff on Jul 27, 2018
    Butterfly bushes, trumpet vine, Rose of Sharon.

  • Phyllis Kolpak Phyllis Kolpak on Jul 27, 2018

    Somebody just told me milkweed attracts butterflies by the fact, I have heard they have asked farmers to plant it so that we can bring back Monarch butterflies again.

  • The Great Dane Gardener The Great Dane Gardener on Jul 27, 2018

    Where are you located? Which zone? State? Send me a pic of the area and I will do a virtual concept sketch of the site for you to have someone install for you.

    Plants to consider:

    Butterfly Bush


    Asclepias or Butterfly weed





    Sage - pineapple, raspberry, Russian, Mexican bush, black and blue

    Roses - Drift and Knockout

    Canna Llies

    Asiatic Lilies

    Day Lilies

    Dwarf Crape Myrtle




    There’s more... tons actually!! Send me a pic!

  • Krafty Mrs.K Krafty Mrs.K on Jul 27, 2018
    The Great Dane Gardener has a great list.
    Those Asclepias or Butterfly weed can be tricky with germinating seeds and which species for your climate. I had the best luck with the plants I bought at a Texas Native Plants Society sale. The Texas Master Gardeners or Naturalists offer advice on Butterfly gardens. The Blue Mist flowers they suggested for our school garden was covered in butterflies and thrive without watering through the summer. Fennel, parsley and dill feeds the caterpillars of swallowtail butterflies. Monarch need Milkweed. Honeysuckle and trumpeter vines grow wild and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. They love butterfly bushes which grow into small trees in our climate. Lantana will make small bushes.
    Firewheel or Indian blanket is another wildflower that is easy care and attracts butterflies. And don't forget Bluebonnets.

  • Susan Susan on Jul 31, 2018
    Check with your county extension office. They are a great resource for gardening questions.