MISSISSIPPI STATE EXTENSION, with Dr. Gary Bachman
It’s all the gardening rage to plant flowers to attract butterflies and pollinators to our Mississippi gardens. Here are some of my favorites for the landscape. One of the stars of the butterfly garden has to be Golden Delicious pineapple sage. The foliage is a chartreuse yellow that really shines and shows off the tubular fire engine red flowers. Butterfly weed was chosen as a Mississippi Medallion native plant in 2012. This plant grows up to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide. It has an upright, clumping growth habit, and produces clusters of tubular flowers with various shades of orange, yellow or red, that are magnets for Monarch butterflies. Purple coneflowers are great native plants and one of the best plants you can grow in your garden to attract pollinators. Who can resist the two to four inch flowers with bright purple petals and dark center cones? Though named for the color purple, varieties are being developed with other colors. These Cheyenne Spirit coneflowers are beautiful with orange, yellow, and red flowers. I’ve always liked the varieties of cutting zinnia. The vivid colors including white, pink, yellow, and purple of these Benary Giants are impressive on the tall stems. It’s amazing how many butterflies and bumblebees are also attracted to these flowers as they look for an easy meal. And here’s an idea for next winter let some of your cool season greens go to flower, like this Hanover Salad kale. This provides a snack for pollinators on warm days. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.
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