A Few of My Favorite Plants
As the days get longer and warmer, February is a great time to begin planning spring planting. We’ve written extensively about the benefits of Spanish Needles (Bidens alba) and would encourage everyone to include that as a workhorse that provides nectar throughout the year. Other plants that are our favorites include:
Maypop (Passiflora incarnata)
- With gorgeous, showy purple flowers, this plant is host to Gulf Fritillary, Variegated Fritillary, Julia Heliconian and Zebra Heliconian caterpillars. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees enjoy its nectar. Birds eat its fruit. What’s not to love?
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)
- Most people know that milkweed is the only plant that Monarch caterpillars will eat. Fewer know that various species of milkweed also act as a host plant for Queen and Soldier caterpillars. With 21 species of milkweed native to our state, why not include some in your garden?
Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)
- This stunning shrub has delicate, fragrant white flowers that attract numerous butterflies and bees and an occasional hummingbird during the spring. Plant this alongside cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) to attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies from early spring to early winter.
Dill (Anethum graveolens)
- Yes, you read that correctly. Dill is an absolute favorite in the herb garden, pots, and borders. Not only does it add a tangy taste to many favorite dishes and a pop of color to the garden that attracts a range of pollinators, it’s also host to Black Swallowtail caterpillars.