GARDEN TIME with DOUG – Bringing Home the Caterpillars and Butterflies


I know it can be a struggling time for gardeners with this heat and humidity. This is why timing is everything with planning our gardening activities. Early in the morning or late in the evening are the best times to be in the garden this time of year. Our beloved butterflies love this time of year. This is the time of year when butterflies begin to visit our gardens to feed and help pollinate our plants. There are so many beautiful and colorful hardy perennials that are in bloom in July and will attract butterflies to your garden.

Your goal in selecting blooming plants is to select plants that will feed butterflies while also encouraging them to stick around for a while, laying eggs and creating a new generation of butterflies. To do so choose plants that provide nectar and choose plants that provide caterpillar food. With careful selection of plants, you can create a garden that provides for the entire life cycle of butterflies.

I have a personal list of favorite plants that are in bloom this time of year and are supporters of our caterpillars and butterflies.

In no particular order of popularity:

ASCLEPSIAS tuberosa – Butterfly Weed

There has been a big surge with articles in many newspapers and magazines about this plant.  It has beautiful orange blooms right now.  And, to top it off, Asclepsias is a native plant to our region.  No wonder Monarch butterflies seek out this plant.

BUDDLEIA – Butterfly Bush

It goes without saying that a plant called “butterfly bush” attracts butterflies. There are so many varieties to choose from and they are all in bloom right now. Nanho Blue and Black Knight are two of my favorite butterfly bushes. Butterfly bushes are a very hardy, woody perennial that blooms off of new growth that emerges in the spring.


Beautiful yellow, daisy-form flowers this time of year.  We have a good selection in the nursery and I see butterflies already hovering on the plants.

NEPETA – Catmint

Beautiful, light blue flowers now in July. Both bees and butterflies love this plant. Hundreds of bees and butterflies will be all over this plant. It is a sight to see. I can stand and watch them feast for hours at a time.

ECHINACEA – Cone Flower

Lots of varieties in lots of colors in bloom in July.  Pow Wow White is one of my favorite variety of Cone Flower.  Keep in mind that the Purple coneflower is also a native plant in our region.

Some other plants that are in bloom in July that butterflies love are Lavendar, Joe-Pye Weed, Monarda, Sedum  –  just to name a few other perennials.

Come see us and our selection of hardy perennials that are now in bloom.


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3 thoughts on “GARDEN TIME with DOUG – Bringing Home the Caterpillars and Butterflies”

  1. sorry to see you promoting butterfly bush because it is listed as an invasive species. Yes, it attracts butterflies to the nectar but a better native choice is Joe pye weed.
    If you insist on butterfly bush, then the lo and behold small butterfly bush is a better choice because it’s not invasive.

    • Kirsten,
      Thank you for your message and advice on the butterfly bush. I love butterfly bushes and Low and Behold is a excellent variety. And, yes, the Joe Pye Weed is an excellent native for attracting butterflies. Doug

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