Thursday, April 23, 2009

Come on, butterflies, the table is set

Some of my butterfly attractors are just starting to put out some blooms. This first is one of my salvias. For the life of me I can't remember what type this is, but I like it. Salvias are a wonderful plant for butterflies and hummingbirds, plus they are really easy to grow just about anywhere. I usually always have the red ones, but this year I'm branching out to the blues. Blue seems to fit in better with most of my other flowers. Most salvias are reliable perennials that come back every year.

Up next I bring you one of my favorite annual bedding plants - the penta. I have several of them in several colors. These babies bloom their heads off all the way from the time I put them in the ground until a frost hits. They are about the most prolific and sustained bloomers of any annual I've come across. I always buy several of them at local nurseries every year because I haven't had success growing them from seed. Butterflies and hummingbirds both seem to love them too. I only wish they could survive a frost. Highly commended.

Now comes a zinnia cultivar called Profusion Fire. This is my favorite color of the Profusion zinnias because it doesn't fade in the sun. All the Profusion zinnias are getting popular and for very good reason. They bloom non-stop all summer long, attract hordes of butterflies, and are resistant to mildew. They are also pretty drought resistant.

I'll finish up this installment with the venerable lantana. I grow three different colors of lantanas and don't know the names of any of them. This color here is the hardiest - it gets the biggest and comes out soonest in the spring. All my lantanas die to the ground at the first frost, but they have reliably come back for me each year once warm weather comes back. They are pest free and ask for nothing more than water every now and then. If they get too tall and leggy, I shear them back. Pruning them back seems to make them bloom more as well. Butterflies of seemingly all types can be seen visiting lantanas throughout the summer. The date on this picture is wrong - it was taken 4-23-09.


Darla said...

Your salvia looks like what we call Mexican Sage Bush, all of these plants you have posted are great ones to have!!

NellJean said...

Salvia leucantha? Do the blossoms feel like velvet?

Pentas sometimes return in my garden. So far this year only the coarser magentas have sprouts, but I haven't given up on the red.

Davy Barr said...

Thanks for the comments. I believe the salvia is indeed salvia leucantha (Mexican bush sage.) I also have some Black and Blue salvia that is not blooming yet so I didn't take a picture.

Sure wish some of my pentas would return. Haven't had that happen yet. Maybe I'll put a lot more mulch over the roots this winter. Seems to me that plants that return on their own are stronger than newly planted ones.

Dirt Princess said...

I can hear that dinner bell ringing! I had some pentas, and they didn't come back...dangit! I have plenty other plants for butterflies and hummers to feast on though

Sad rose sweet said...

Very beautiful pictures, your blog gets more and moreinteresting every day.