I'm going to tear out some Liriope left over from a past landscaping plan, and I want to put in plants that will attract butterflies. I will have two sunny areas about 12.5 square feet each about 3 feet apart, and another nearby one about that same size which is in shade. I'm looking at Butterfly Milkweed and Zinnias. I have considered Purple Cornflower, but my overpopulation of rabbits love it, so its success is doubtful. My questions: What are the best Zinnia varieties for attracting butterflies? Are there other plants I should consider? Are there any other attractors that will grow in shady conditions? Thanks,
Anne Arundel County Maryland
Both butterfly milkweed and zinnias are excellent choices. For zinnias, stick with the old-fashioned varieties.
Here is good info on attracting pollinators: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/articles/PollinatorAndNaturalEnemyAttractingPlant... Remember that you must provide food for both the larval stage (caterpillars) and adult stage of butterflies. All these flowers shown are great attractors. Monarda and phlox will tolerate more shade than many perennials, but they still need partial sun.
Excellent info. Thanks very much.