Southeast: Butterfly Island Planting Tips

Lynn Coulter
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boy with butterfly

For gardeners in the southeast, Home Depot Muddy Boots reporter Travis recommends placing your butterfly island bed in a spot that gets at least six hours of sun each day. Travis, who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, also recommends growing plants that provide food for caterpillars as well as nectar for the adult butterflies. Your winged visitors will appreciate simple, open flowers in red, orange, pink, yellow, and purple, and those that have sweet or pungent scents.

Travis’s picks for butterfly island plants include these annuals:

  • Zinnia
  • Cosmos
  • Salvia
  • Aster
  • Petunia (‘Wave’ petunias are a good choice because they flower abundantly)
  • Verbena
  • Marigold
  • Lantana – “I put Lantana on the list,” Travis says, “because of its sprawling growth habit and multi-color display.”

You can also attract caterpillars and butterfly with woody shrubs. If your island bed is small, choose one for a focal point.

  • Viburnum
  • Blueberry
  • Hawthorne
  • Bottlebrush
  • Buddleia

Plant selections vary by store location and vendor availability. A Home Depot Garden Center associate will be glad to help you find what you’re looking for or suggest alternatives.

Meet your Home Depot “Muddy Boots” associates, gardening reporters from around the U.S.

Image: Shutterstock/Beata Becia

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