In Southern California, there is no shortage of opportunities to grow a beautiful garden. However, for those looking to create a garden designed to specifically attract butterflies and hummingbirds, along with other birds, it’s important to pick and choose flowers and plants carefully. Some actually work as a deterrent. Yet, each of these living creatures has the need to find food. By providing opportunities for them to find this in your garden, you’ll attract a wide range of wonderful birds.
Focus on Nectar and Pollen
Choosing wildflowers and other nectar and pollen-rich plants is the ideal way to bring in butterflies and birds to a garden. This includes plants such as fennel and milkweed, both of which are ideal to encourage butterfly larvae to feed. When choosing these plants, be sure to look for those that bloom over a period of time, allowing for a ready supply of nectar within the space.
Expansive Flower Beds
Expansive beds of flowers are ideal for attracting a large number of butterflies. A blanket flower is ideal for this. In short, these are the type of drought tolerant flowers most areas of Southern California benefit from because they are easy to manage and can grow well in all soil conditions. Known as Gaillardia, these flowers are brightly colored and sure to attract a large number of smaller birds and butterflies once in full bloom.
For those who want to bring in bees and hummingbirds, consider Joe-pye weed. It’s tall, reaching as high as six feet in some cases. However, because it will grow in thick and dense, it tends to attract a large number of hummingbirds and some butterflies. It does very well in this climate but does not require a lot of attention from users. It does the best in areas where it can grow in full sun – such as the back of your garden. Use it as a plant to place along the border so it does not tower above the smaller plants.
Coreopsis verticillata or tickseed is another desirable option in this area for butterfly gardens. This plant grows densely in the area it is placed. The summertime brings with it sweet and beautiful little flowers. These flowers are what attract a large number of hummingbirds and butterflies to the space. Tickseed is easy to grow from plant or seed form. Generally, they are reliable and blossom well, attracting a large number of birds.
Believe it or not phlox, (phlox paniculata) has become one of the most popular options for those looking to establish a beautiful garden. However, it also works well for those planting a butterfly garden. The plants grow in thick, which creates numerous small flowers. Those flowers are always an attraction to birds. The nectar from them – in the fall and summer months- is highly attractive. It tends to bring in a wide range of small bees and butterflies in most areas. And, they tend to display a stunning amount of color, too.
Aside from choosing the best plants, be sure to invest wisely in the best type of plants and fertilizers. Organic products are the most effective and produce the best results. It’s also a good idea to place them close to shelter away from predators. And, be sure there is a source of water nearby to help keep them close by.