Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Garden
Here at Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles, we love doing our part for both the bees and the butterflies!
With the population of Monarchs down 90% since the 1990s, it’s been a joy for us to plant flowers to attract and watch these graceful and beneficial insects.
The beauty of flowers complimented by buzzing bees, beautiful butterflies, and the flutter of hummingbirds is enough to make anyone feel happy.
But how can you attract more of these pollinators to your own flower garden? It’s actually pretty easy. Like everybody else in the world, bees, butterflies, and hummers have their own favorite foods.
But before they can enjoy their meal, they have to have a comfortable environment. That means ditching heavy pesticides like malathion, Sevin, and diazinon. These kill butterflies and bees.
Surprising Ways to Create an Abundance of Butterflies and Hummingbirds
Grow native plants for the regions in which you live. And, choose colors that productive and beautiful insects are attracted to.
Butterflies love the bright colors of purple, pink, red, orange and yellow.
Bees love purple, blue and yellow colors best. They also prefer flowers with shallow or flat blossoms like Queen Anne’s Lace, zinnias, and asters.
Hummers are attracted to the color red and can see it as they whiz by you. They also see the beautiful shades of red as the official Hummingbird runway!
Long-tongued bees will love the mint family like Nepeta, oregano, salvia, lavender, and mint. Some preferred butterfly flowers are lupine, cudweed, parsley, and fennel.
But the only plant that Monarchs use for food is the milkweed! Just make sure you plant the right milkweed for your region. Here’s a handy guide to help you buy the appropriate milkweed for your area.
Busy Bees and Laidback Butterflies
While bees are constantly busy, butterflies like to take breaks. So why not create a butterfly spa? Just fill a shallow dish or pan with water.
Then add some flat rocks. Be sure to place the pan in the sun. Butterflies LOVE the sun!
You may find that bees, too, make their way to the spa to rest and drink. The more the merrier!
Nothing makes us happier than strolling through the inn gardens and seeing this “haven” we have created not only for guests but beautiful and beneficial pollinators too!
One of the flowers we grow here at the inn is Mexican Petunia. It’s very hardy, and butterflies love it. So do our guests. We make sure they take some home with them as a parting gift to remember their stay. And, of course, to help spread the pollinator garden love, known around here as #pollenlove
Learn More About Plants for Butterflies and Bees
Want to find more flowers to plant for butterflies? Here’s a great list (scroll to the
Zinnias are hardy and early bloomers attracting all the good bees to do their pollinating work! You will find these in the side “cut” garden, as we call it since we cut a lot of the flowers grown here for in-room bouquets.
Mexican Sunflower is the best-kept secret. Lucky you, I am sharing it today! They are a fall bloomer and last until the first frost. We are in the migration path of the monarchs as they head south and you can find them “roosting” on this wonderful plant!