Butterfly Landscape Project

by student
(KY)



I am looking for a foundation plant, that attracts butterflies and has winter attraction as well. My soil is moderately heavy clay loam with moderately good to poor drainage, PH is 6.5. This will be used as a foundation at the base of a bay window. I live in Zone 6. Any suggestions?

ANSWER
Regarding butterfly attraction to landscape plants, I am going to take a guess at something.

Typically, plants with winter interest are evergreens, since they maintain their foliage all year. Most evergreens that flower, for example, Azalea, Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel, etc. do not bloom late in the season when the butterflies appear. Therefore, it would be hard to find (if at all) one that would work for your situation.

That's not to say that you cannot achieve what you want in another way though.

I would suggest using some evergreen shrubs such as Boxwood 'Green Velvet' for the foundation plants and add perennials that attract butterflies in front of them. Some suggestions would be:

Butterfly Bush
Coneflower
Black Eyed Susan

Actually, you could center the Butterfly Bush and use Coneflower and/or Black Eyed Susan's just behind and around it.

These would all do well in Zone 6. Regardless of what you plant, I would consider amending your soil for better drainage. You can use one part of your existing soil mixed with some fresh topsoil, one part peat mosss, and one part sand.

If you have further questions, just post them here under the Comments section. Good luck.

Susan

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
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