Discover the Fun of Gardening

August 2, 2012   

 Joey & Kim's niece Sawyer
standing next to her milkweed plant.

As I sat down to write this newsletter about butterflies, I looked out of our office window and two giant swallowtail butterflies were fluttering about. At any time of day, there are butterflies everywhere in our yard, from swallowtails to fritillaries. My personal favorite is a little family of zebra longwings that hover around a passion vine growing wild in a viburnum hedge. Summer is the time of year that butterflies are the most active, so make sure that you have plenty of nectar plants available for them to feed on. The article below highlights some great (but often overlooked) flowers, and at right are links to more butterfly information.
 See our fall schedule of events
to start planning your Fall Fun in the Garden

When we aren't watching the butterflies in our garden, we are busy planning this fall's schedule of events, with everything from workshops on veggies and herbs, camellias and roses to a fun fall festival. It's never too early to start planning for some fall fun in the garden.

Happy Gardening,
Kim, Joey and Mark

In This Issue
Featured Plant

Keep your Butterflies Well Fed

More Butterfly Info:

Kerby's Butterfly Handout

Common Butterflies

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Featured Plant

Lion's Ear
Leonotis leonurus
This is a unique flower and it isn't one that you see very often. The blooms are absolute butterfly magnets and are gorgeous to boot. The lion's ear grows two to four feet tall, with a similar spread and prefers an area with plenty of sunlight. It is perennial, so it will treat your butterflies and hummingbirds to yummy nectar year after year. 

Keep your Butterflies Well Fed

Everyone knows about pentas, lantanas and salvias. They are the staples of a butterfly garden and flowers that you probably already have. If you are looking for something just a little bit cooler, then check out the plants below. They are amazing additions to a butterfly garden, both for being beautiful and for providing lots of food for all the butterflies that call your garden home.



Crocosmia - Huge sprays of orange flowers appear above this grassy plant throughout the summer. The foliage grows three to four feet tall and adds a different texture to a butterfly garden. It is best planted in 4 to 8 hours of sun. Another seldom used plant that has similar flowers to crocosmia is the Red Yucca. The yucca is extremely drought tolerant and when it's blooming, butterflies can't keep away.


Red Firecracker Plant - Drought-tolerant, cold hardy with large sprays of red flowers, the firecracker plant is a must have for a butterfly garden. It grows three to four feet tall and wide and blooms from spring to fall.

Dutchman's Pipevine - Okay, this one isn't a nectar plant, it is a host plant for pipevine (pictured) and polydamus swallowtails, but it is often missing in butterfly gardens. Huge numbers of caterpillars eat the leaves in summer on their way to becoming beautiful butterflies. The flowers on the pipevine are a unique addition to the garden too.



Blue Butterfly Clerodendrum - Beautiful blue flowers in the shapes of butterflies not only provide nectar, but also add a cute reminder that your garden is for butterflies. It can grow pretty large, easily four to eight feet tall making it ideal as a specimen plant in your garden.


Pagoda Flower - Another clerodendrum variety that has large clusters of red flowers. This plant is better in part shade, so it's great for feeding zebra longwing butterflies (they like to hover in shady areas.) Pagoda flower grows three to five feet tall and blooms prolifically in the summertime. Just in time to feed the butterflies!




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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours
Open Seven Days a Week
Monday - Saturday,  9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday,  11:00am - 4:00pm