Plantings to Attract Hummingbirds, Butterflies, & Moths
by Patricia Sutton
With the terrific help of coworker Michael Pollock,
tried to make the selection of plants
as strong and useful as possible!
HOW TO USE THIS LIST
It clearly indicates:
TRIED & TRUE
Perennials, Annuals, Vines, Shrubs, &
(for butterflies & moths):
Perennials, Annuals, Grasses & Sedges,
Vines, Shrubs, & Trees
SUITABLE FOR THE NORTHEAST
This list is the result of years of gardening for butterflies
and hummingbirds in southern New Jersey, and visiting other
gardens in New Jersey, surrounding states, and around the
country. Jane Ruffin (Rosemont, PA), Karen Williams (Woodbine,
NJ), Jim Dowdell (Villas, NJ), Michael Pollock (northern NJ),
and Denise Gibbs (Gaithersburg, MD) all played key roles in
fine-tuning this list to reflect the very best choices for this
region. Many friends shared their favorites and further
strengthened this list. I'd love to hear from you too if you
have a plant to add.
NATIVES With the keen interest to use as many native plants as possible,
we are very grateful to Karl Anderson for his annotation of this
list to reflect natives.
The list delineates plant origin:
native to New Jersey (NJ),
native to North America (NA), or
I am a purist when it comes to tree, shrub, & vine selection for
bird gardens / food, but not when it comes to butterfly and
hummingbird gardening. This list includes a number of plants not
native to New Jersey and a few not even native to the U.S., but
which can be used, particularly in small gardens, to provide
nectar sources to fill in the times during the summer and late
native sources are less common. In all cases avoid invasive
non-native plants that will spread beyond your garden.
OFFERINGS SPRING THROUGH FALL
To attract and hold butterflies and hummingbirds a garden needs
to offer nectar spring through the first hard frost in late
fall. This list shares time of bloom for each of the plants so
gardeners can do just that. Spring
(1), Summer (2), Fall (3), until frost (4).
This is Jane Ruffin's terrific term for the flowering plants
that are irresistible to butterflies and hummingbirds no matter
what else is in bloom. We found that a Chocolate Cake in one
garden sometimes attracted little attention in another. Massed
plantings made all difference. If you have a tiny area to
focus on Chocolate Cakes.
SUN (S) or SHADE
(sh), COLOR, and TYPE OF PLANT:
(A), Perennial (P),
and Tender Shrub (TS) all noted on this list.
This list includes many weeds, trees, shrubs, and
vines that you may already have in your yard as well as others
you can plant that are sought by adult butterflies and moths for
(to create the next generation).