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The Best Plants for Your Sarasota Butterfly Garden

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When the explorer, Juan Ponce de León, first arrived on North American shores, he set foot on a land he said was “full of flowers.” The Spanish word, “florida”, means “full of flowers” and is how the state earned its name. Florida flowers and plants come in all sorts of beautiful forms and attract a wide array of gorgeous wildlife. One important creature, the butterfly.

There are over 200 species of butterflies in Florida and over 500 species of native and non-native flowers. Some butterflies migrate from the colder parts of the world to Florida to continue their life journey, while others live their entire lives in the sunshine state.

A great way of viewing them is by creating a butterfly garden, which may attract other colorful pollinators such as hummingbirds and bumble bees. Check out the following flowers to help attract pretty "flutter bugs" to your Sarasota home.

Coral Honeysuckle

These flowery vines are great for pergolas and easy to grow, will add color to your garden and attract various types of butterflies. Plus, hummingbirds love them.

Milkweed

These little flowers are known for attracting the endangered Monarch butterfly. Plant these near your sunroom windows and you’ll be able to see the butterflies from the inside of your home. They do well with poor soil and do not need much watering. 

Nasturtium

This is a non-native flower originating from Argentina and Chile that will attract the Great Southern White butterfly. These plants do not need fertile soil but do need to be watered regularly.

False Nettle

The plants grow very small flowers but are perfect hosts for butterflies to lay their eggs on. They’re also a food source for caterpillars. Some of the common butterflies it attracts include the Red Admiral, Question Mark Polygonia, and Eastern Comma Polygonia butterfly.

Partridge Pea

This native flower is a great food source for Cloudless Sulphur, Sleepy Orange, Ceraunus Blue and Little Yellow caterpillars. They’re summer bloomers and do well with medium to dry soil.

Creating a garden and attracting pollinators are great ways to animal watch while in the comfort of your home. Try planting these flowers near the areas where you lounge in, such as close to your windows or pergolas. If you need some garden inspiration, visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens located right here in Sarasota!


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