While we can’t attract unicorns and rainbows, we can create a magical feeling in our landscapes with butterflies and hummingbirds. These delicate creatures provide serenity and enjoyment to any garden. Here are several tips to help you bring more beauty into your life this spring.
Like most winged animals, butterflies and hummingbirds need room to fly, so be sure to cultivate a growing area unencumbered by overhanging branches or building exteriors. They need space to eat and rest away from human or household pet intrusion.
But you want them close enough so you can see them. Select an area of the garden you can view from inside or from a patio or deck for you future butterfly paradise.
Hummingbirds are attracted to nectar. The more flowers you plant, the more success you will have in encouraging the birds to visit your garden. Color is important, so choose varieties with orange or red hues. Cardinal flowers, bee balms, columbine, and purple coneflowers are all good selections for Maryland’s growing zone.
Flowers with tubular blooms contain the most nectar. The trumpet creeper is one of the best choices. It is the appropriate color and the blooms are like candy to a hummingbird.
Maryland is home to over 100 species of butterflies. Zebra swallowtails and Olympia marbles are among the Maryland natives, so why not enjoy them and use native Maryland plants to draw in caterpillars. Plants such as morning clock, tiger swallowtail and red admiral are perfect selections. Plant alongside a few packets of native Maryland wildflowers and you will have caterpillars turning into butterflies right before your eyes.
Whether you are looking for butterflies, hummingbirds, or both, use plantings of various heights to maximize allure and ensure visitors. If you have the space, fencing or lattice to support a vine will also attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Hummingbirds need water and flowing water is particularly appealing. Use a small water fountain not only as a design element, but as an additional allure. A hummingbird heaven would feature a laid-out fountain, surrounded by flowers, shrubs, herbs and a feeder.
If you have questions or are just looking for additional ideas about the best plantings to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, click here to contact one of our experts!