Some of the perennials that have a long blooming season (defined as one or more months) in the Boston area are coreopsis, campanula, blanket flower, bee balm ‘Jacob Kline,’ cardinal flower, butterfly plant, pincushion flower, pink yarrows, black-eyed Susan, nepeta, purple coneflower, Stella Dora day lily, Johnson’s blue and Roxanne cranesbill geraniums and Jackmanii clematis.
Can you tell me some perennials that bloom for a long time?
Some of the perennials that have a long blooming season (defined as one or more months) in the Boston area are coreopsis, campanula, blanket flower, bee balm "Jacob Kline," cardinal flower, butterfly plant, pincushion flower, pink yarrows, black-eyed Susan, nepeta, purple coneflower, Stella Dora day lily, Johnson’s blue and Roxanne cranesbill geraniums and Jackmanii clematis.
Suggestions for flowering shrubs that bloom for more than two months are endless summer hydrangea, butterfly bush, hibiscus, rose of Sharon, potentilla, hybrid tea roses, rosa pink double knock out, and rosa carefree delight.
What flowering plants would attract butterflies to my garden?
Different flowering plants attract different butterfly species. Listed below are the food source plants that a few butterflies and their caterpillars feed on.
- Monarch likes milkweed as a caterpillar, and as an adult, milkweed, butterfly bush, asters, goldenrod, thistle and mint.
- Painted lady likes hollyhock, mallow, thistle and legumes as a caterpillar, and milkweed, asters, cosmos, ironweed and joe-pye weed as an adult.
- Black swallowtail likes carrots, celery, dill, Queen Anne’s lace as a caterpillar, and as an adult, milkweed, red clover and thistles.
- Finally, the cabbage white will spend its early days in cabbage, broccoli, kale and radish, and as an adult gravitates toward asters, red clover, dandelions, mustards, mint.
Some other butterfly attracting plants include butterfly weed, marigolds, snapdragons, lantana, phlox, zinnias, purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and sunflowers. For other butterfly species seen in Massachusetts, try www.butterfliesandmoths.org or www.massbutterflies.org
In addition to providing plants for caterpillars and butterflies, butterflies like an open sunny area protected from wind. Birds are butterfly predators, so put plant bird feeders away from the plants. Flat stones provide a warm spot for butterflies to bask. And, butterflies need more than nectar to survive; they seek shallow mud-puddles for minerals and salts.
Judy Eisenberg of SunandShadeGardening.com has been gardening and consulting professionally with a personal touch for more than 10 years. She is a member of the Ecological Landscape Association and member of the Somerville Garden Club. As one of the Garden Club’s program coordinators, she recruits professional horticulturists to give presentations at the club’s monthly meetings. She can be contacted directly at SunandShadeGardening@comcast.net.