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Flower Chat: What Flowers Attract Birds, Bees, and Butterflies?

by Fern on August 18, 2011

in Birds Bees & Butterflies,Flower Chat

The following is the transcript of our Flower Chat held on August 18, 2011. The chat was moderated by yours truly (@lifeontheblcny). Our guest was Dave Bushnell (@BushnellGardens), the owner of Bushnell Gardens Nursery in Granite Bay, CA. We discussed attracting wildlife like birds, bees, and butterflies to the garden.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion!

  • Q1 Are there some general rules for making a flower garden wildlife-friendly?
  • Q2 Ladybugs are always fun to see in the garden, and they eat pests! Are there flowers that attract ladybugs?
  • Q3 What are some drought tolerant plants that will also attract birds, bees, or butterflies?
  • Q4 Many people know asclepias attracts butterflies, but what are some other butterfly-friendly plants?
  • Q5 Are there any shade flowers that attract hummingbirds?
  • Q6 Do we need to think about supporting bees in the fall and winter? If yes, how can we do that?
 

@Flower_Chat: Q1 – Are there some good general rules for making a flower garden wildlife-friendly? #flowerchat

 

@vagablonde515: @jchapstk hi #Flowerchat

 

@deltagardener: Q1- I think not using pesticides makes a garden wildlife friendly #Flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @deltagardener: Q1- I think not using pesticides makes a garden wildlife friendly #Flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: @vagablonde515 Hi. #Flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A1: We think so. Each region differs however integrating flowerful plants; nativies and non-natives is a good start. #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: RT @Flower_Chat: Q1 – Are there some good general rules for making a flower garden wildlife-friendly? #Flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: A1 – Providing a water source. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A1a: Look for what grows locally in the wild and in other gardens for ideas.n #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: A1a: Look for what grows locally in the wild and in other gardens for ideas.n #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: Great place to start: RT @BushnellGardens: A1a: Look for what grows locally in the wild and in other gardens for ideas. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A1b: For Hummingbirds: Bee balm (Monarda didyma) Bird of paradise (Caesalpinia) California Fuchsia (Zauschneria) #flowerchat


 

@vagablonde515: #flowerchat research local native plants and flowers. Beneficial bugs etc


 

@PhilipMSr: Hello Fernn #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: #flowerchat A1 Your local Cooperative Extension Service office is also a good source of information.


 

@Gardner_Bloome: RT @bushnellgardens: Hummingbirds: Bee balm (Monarda didyma) Bird of paradise (Caesalpinia) California Fuchsia (Zauschneria) #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: RT @Flower_Chat Q1 – Are there some good general rules for making a flower garden wildlife-friendly? #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A1c: For Butterflies Goldenrod (solidago) Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalies) Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum Maximum). #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: I find that leaving a few weeds brings in beneficial insects, things like tansy #Flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: We like that. RT @jchapstk: #flowerchat A1 Your local Cooperative Extension Service office is also a good source of information. #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: RT @vagablonde515: #flowerchat research local native plants and flowers. Beneficial bugs etc #Flowerchat

 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: @jchapstk @vagablonde515 @deltagardener great seeing you in #flowerchat! Great ideas so far!

 

@BushnellGardens: A1d: Smaller microhabitats like long grass provide places for egg laying & overwintering of caterpillars. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: A1d: Smaller microhabitats like long grass provide places for egg laying & overwintering of caterpillars. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: @LifeOnTheBlcny thanks for the invite. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A definite plus. RT @deltagardener: I find that leaving a few weeds brings in beneficial insects, things like tansy #flowerchat


 

@KelloggGarden: Gasp! ;-) RT @deltagardener: I find that leaving a few weeds brings in beneficial insects, things like tansy #Flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: Plugging into local Master Gardeners are excellent resources too! Of course your favorite nursery can be helpful too. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: #flowerchat I was on a personal crusade against chickory until I saw a flock of yellow birds all over them. Gold finches, I think.


 

@PhilipMSr: What non-toxic ingredients can be used to deter animals from eating the wild flowers? #flowerchat


 

@Flower_Chat: Q2 – Ladybugs are always fun to see in the garden, and they eat pests! Are there flowers that attract ladybugs? #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A1e: Annual plants produce seeds in late summer and feed birds through autumn would be a good think to consider in planning. #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: @KelloggGarden every garden needs a wild side. Where would snakes live? #Flowerchat


 

@plantweenie: lobelia cardinalis 2 RT @BushnellGardens: A1b: For Hummingbirds: Bee balm (Monarda didyma) Bird of paradise California Fuchsia #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @deltagardener: @KelloggGarden every garden needs a wild side. Where would snakes live? #Flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A1f: Provide many habitats and avoid placing too much in one place. #flowerchat


 

@ecokatLA: Good evening #flowerchat – ters! #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: #flowerchat good question. They are always around. Q2 Ladybugs


 

@BushnellGardens: A2: They do and we think one of the easiest plants to attract ladybugs is cilantro. #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: @BushnellGardens Birds love eating poppy seeds. We leave our plants standing over winter #Flowerchat


 

@TyHall55: RT @LifeOnTheBlcny: RT @flower_chat: Here’s how to participate in tonight’s #flowerchat with Bushnell Gardens…http://t.co/sRvqOCg


 

@jmarkowski0: Late to the chat but super psyched to be here #flowerchat


 

@vagablonde515: @PhilipMSr I have heard both a cayenne spray and an organic soap spray are effective #Flowerchat


 

@plantweenie: Violets work in the East CoastRT @deltagardener: I find that leaving a few weeds brings in beneficial insects, things like tansy #Flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: @BushnellGardens I grow that almost every year. I should grow more. I love the ladybugs. #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: RT @Flower_Chat Q2 – Ladybugs are always fun to see in the garden, and they eat pests! Are there flowers that attract ladybugs? #flowerchat


 

@jmarkowski0: My absolute best wildlife friendly flower is Joe Pye Weed #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: Q2b: Cilantro produces a nice flower attracting ladybugs; cilantro also reseeds in the spring. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: My daughter bought a small one for her balcony. rofl. RT @jmarkowski0: My absolute best wildlife friendly flower is Joe Pye Weed #flowerchat


 

@plantweenie: RT @plantweenie: @Flower_Chat I usually see ladybugs attracted to the flowering plants that have aphids.#flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: @BushnellGardens I saw wear the seeds are called corriander. Didn’t know that. I just let them reseed and bought corriander. Duh #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: Mix 1gal vinegar w/1cup salt &1 t of liquid dish soap in spray bottle @PhilipMSr: What non-toxic ingredients #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: They eat a lot of aphids RT @plantweenie: @Flower_Chat I usually see ladybugs attracted to the flowering plants that have aphids.#flowerchat


 

@leekfixer: @LifeOnTheBlcny @Flower_Chat q2 any flowers that attract aphids will attract ladybugs #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A2c: Beneficial insects & ladybugs are attracted to plants w/tiny white flowers. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: Nice to know. RT @BushnellGardens: A2c: Beneficial insects & ladybugs are attracted to plants w/tiny white flowers. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: A2c: Overwinter carrots the 2nd yr produces a flower loved by ladybugs. #flowerchat


 

@plantweenie: RT @plantweenie: Violets work on the E. CoastRT @deltagardener: I find that leaving a few weeds brings in beneficial insects #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: I am late to #flowerchat! Hi y’all!


 

@plantweenie: RT @plantweenie: @Flower_Chat I usually see ladybugs attracted to the flowering plants that have aphids. #flowerchat


 

@ecokatLA: Achillea millefolium “Yarrow” brings lots of ladybugs to our garden. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: #flowerchat Oh yes, they love the dill plant. Covered it like it was a free buffet. The kids were glued to it like it was a movie.


 

@Gardner_Bloome: Bonus! RT @bushnellgardens: Q2b: Cilantro produces a nice flower attracting ladybugs; also reseeds in the spring. #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: RT @Flower_Chat Q3 – What are some drought tolerant plants that will also attract birds, bees, or butterflies? #flowerchat

 

@PhilipMSr: What kind of wildlife is attracted by Joe Pye Weed? #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: We hear similar. RT @vagablonde515: @PhilipMSr I have heard both a cayenne spray and an organic soap spray are effective #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A3: Drought Tolerant: Lavender, California Poppy, Blanket Flower, Purple Cornflower, Salvia and Yarrow. #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: @jchapstk Is there such a thing as a small Joe Pye weed? @jmarkowski0 #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: RT @BushnellGardens: A3: Drought Tolerant: Lavender, California Poppy, Blanket Flower, Purple Cornflower, Salvia and Yarrow. #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: @4bratz2luv hi there. Just getting to Q3. #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: @deltagardener Hi! What is Q3 #flowerchat

 

@jchapstk: NO!!! She said it ate her balcony. RT @LifeOnTheBlcny: @jchapstk Is there such a thing as a small Joe Pye weed?@jmarkowski0 #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: Yikes, tweetchat is too slow tonight. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @Flower_Chat: Q3 – What are some drought tolerant plants that will also attract birds, bees, or butterflies? #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A3: Black raspberry, dogwood, goldenrod, foxtail–a glorious tangle. Junipers, rhodeodendrons &dwarf spruces bring song sparrowsn #flowerchat


 

@jmarkowski0: ’Little Joe’ gets about 3 feet tall RT @LifeOnTheBlcny @jchapstk Is there such a thing as a small Joe Pye weed? #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: Is it just me or is Twitter making the #flowerchat tag haaaaaaaaaaang. I don’t see my tweets showing up?


 

@deltagardener: RT @LifeOnTheBlcny: RT @Flower_Chat Q3 – What are some drought tolerant plants that will also attract birds, bees, or butterflies? #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: Im having a few problems with twitter! #flowerchat hashtag is slow on my end


 

@BushnellGardens: A3: Birds like edges; they perch a lot where woodland meets meadow. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A3: Three fold service: Hawthorns, Cherries, Sumacs, Blueberries feed caterpillars, nectar for butterflies and fruit for birds. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: A3: Three fold service: Hawthorns, Cherries, Sumacs, Blueberries feed caterpillars, nectar for butterflies and fruit for birds. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: A3: Black raspberry, dogwood, goldenrod, foxtail–a glorious tangle. Junipers, rhodeodendrons &dwarf spruces bring song sparrowsn #flowerchat


 

@vagablonde515: RT @BushnellGardens: Mix 1gal vinegar w/1cup salt &1 t of liquid dish soap in spray bottle @PhilipMSr: What non-toxic ingredients #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: @4bratz2luv I had to dump tweetchat and went back to twitter. It is faster adding #flowerchat to a message


 

@PhilipMSr: @LifeOnTheBlcny Yes, the #flowerchat tag seems to take its time. After my first tweet, I thought a committee was reviewing my question.


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: A3: “Natural Gardening for Birds”, by Julie Zickefoose and “The Wildlife Sanctuary Garden”, by Carol Buchanan>good reads. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: Q4: Wild lilacs (Ceanothus spp) attract Cal.Tortoiseshells; … #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: Q4: Locusts (Gleditsia spp and Robinia spp) attract Silver-spotted Skippers… #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: Q4: Poplars and Willows = Canadian and Western Tiger Swallowtails, Mourning Cloaks, Viceroys and Admirls. #flowerchat


 

@GGWTV: Just a quick HI to everyone in #flowerchat tonight! Can’t stay to chat, getting new episode loaded instead – have fun!


 

@jchapstk: @BushnellGardens is loving this subject. Thanks for all the tips. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: Q4: Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) Attract Leda Hairstreaks & Reakirts’s Blues. #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: RT @Flower_Chat Q4 – Many people know asclepias attracts butterflies, but what are some other butterfly-friendly plants? #flowerchat


 

@ecokatLA: I like letting our herbs flower! Beneficials love us for that. #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: RT @ecokatLA: I like letting our herbs flower! Beneficials love us for that. #flowerchat<–me too, especially basil


 

@4bratz2luv: @4bratz2luv Will thier be open forum at the end for a cpl questions I have? #flowerchat


 

@plantweenie: Echinacea RT @LifeOnTheBlcny: RT @Flower_Chat Q4 – Many people know asclepias attracts butterflies, but what are some others? #flowerchat


 

@Gardner_Bloome: @ecokatLA Basil and thyme look so pretty in flower too! #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: I love Buddleia for attracting butterflies #flowerchat


 

@ecokatLA: Duranta “Brazilian Sky Flower” attracts mainly Sulphur Butterflies. Have one in our garden easy to shape. #flowerchat


 

@plantweenie: Theres a 4′ one called little joeRT @LifeOnTheBlcny: @jchapstk Is there such a thing as a small Joe Pye weed?@jmarkowski0 #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: @Flower_Chat Im working on a wildlife habitat in my front yard, also edibles. Need more plant suggestions that winter well? #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: RT @4bratz2luv@4bratz2luv Will thier be open forum at the end for a cpl questions I have? #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: @BushnellGardens Its very slowwwwwww #flowerchat


 

@Gardner_Bloome: @4bratz2luv Leaving seed heads on flowers, as well as plants w/ berries are important for supporting winter wildlife. #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: RT @BushnellGardens: A5: Zinnias are always a bit hit! #flowerchat<—-love zinnias


 

@ecokatLA: #Butterfly host plants are super habitat friendly and offer cool learning exp for youth. #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: RT @Flower_Chat Q5 – Sometimes full-sun gardens get to have all the fun. Are there any shade flowers that attract hummingbirds? #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: @Gardner_Bloome Im zone 8-9 what plants with berries do you suggest, I have a tree with tiny purple berries and pinapple guava #flowerchat


 

@deltagardener: RT @Gardner_Bloome: @4bratz2luv Leaving seed heads on flowers, as well as plants w/ berries are important for supporting winter wildlife. #flowerchat


 

@ecokatLA: RT @deltagardener: I love Buddleia for attracting butterflies #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: @deltagardener @Caffinara I had good luck growing raspberries in a large pot. I wonder if blackberries would work too? #flowerchat


 

@panaceaoutdoor: @LifeOnTheBlcny @Flower_Chat I pretty much suck at these chatty thingies. Supposed to put #flowerchat maybe. Sorry.


 

@plantweenie: None of my tweets are showing up. Frustrated with this hashtag #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: @BushnellGardens Do you have a section or info at your nursery about wildlife habitats? #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: RT @ecokatLA: #Butterfly host plants are super habitat friendly and offer cool learning exp for youth. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @Flower_Chat: Q5 – Sometimes full-sun gardeners get to have all the fun. Are there any shade flowers that attract hummingbirds? #flowerchat


 

@panaceaoutdoor: @LifeOnTheBlcny @Flower_Chat the flowers of Clethra alnifolia shrubs (most cultivars) are gems for that…and bloom late #flowerchat.


 

@jmarkowski0: @Flower_Chat Q1 Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower) is a bee orgy for me right now #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: We do. Come see us. RT @4bratz2luv: @BushnellGardens Do you have a section or info at your nursery about wildlife habitats? #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: That’s funny.RT @jmarkowski0: @Flower_Chat Q1 Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower) is a bee orgy for me right now #flowerchat


 

@plantweenie: @LifeOnTheBlcny @jmarkowski little Joe is fragrant too #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @plantweenie: @LifeOnTheBlcny @jmarkowski little Joe is fragrant too #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: @BushnellGardens I was going to come sat to the edible demo, but im helping gpa sell antiques for a big show #flowerchat


 

@betweenthelimes: I agree with @ncoastgardening the #natives bring the best wildlife, hours of entertainment for us! #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: An hour goes fast, doesn’t it? #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @Flower_Chat: Q6 – Should we think about supporting bees in the fall and winter? If yes, how can we do that? #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: Shoot. RT @4bratz2luv: @BushnellGardens I was going to come sat …edible demo, but im helping gpa sell antiques for a big show #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A6: Winter is obviously the most difficult time to provide source flowers for bees. #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: @BushnellGardens Im shooting for a visit next weekend! Anything going on? #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A6: Camelis oleifera Winter’s Star is a shrub that can add habitat and flowers during the winter. #flowerchat

 

@deltagardener: @LifeOnTheBlcny great #flowerchat tonight. Loved the subject!

 

@BushnellGardens: A6: Purple-&white-colored buddleia, Michaelmas daisies&sedum R late flowering plant supplys bees a final sustenance b4 winter. #flowerchat


 

@plantweenie: @Flower_Chat spigelia marylandica ( indian pinks) is food for hummingbirds and grows in part shade. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A6: The white deadnettle, flowers early spring well into winter (increasingly yr-round), is a bee’s best friend. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: A6: Crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths all supply much-needed fresh pollen and nectar after the long winter months. #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @BushnellGardens: A6: Crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths all supply much-needed fresh pollen and nectar after the long winter months. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: RT @4bratz2luv: @BushnellGardens Im shooting for a visit next weekend! Anything going on?>Yes, a succulent class. #flowerchat


 

@betweenthelimes: @jmarkowski0 @Flower_Chat artichokes and sunflowers are the most popular for me with the bee’s I think. Total bee orgy! #flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: @BushnellGardens Ooooooooo a succulent class! Sounds like my kind of class! #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: RT @Flower_Chat Q6 – Should we think about supporting bees in the fall and winter? If yes, how can we do that? #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: If we missed anything from you b/c of the delay, we will make sure to get to you. #flowerchat


 

@vagablonde515: @LifeOnTheBlcny yes hanging a but here too #Flowerchat


 

@4bratz2luv: @BushnellGardens @LifeOnTheBlcny Good job Ladies! Thanks for teaching me some new things! Took lots of notes! #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: This has been interesting, it’s a first for me. #flowerchat


 

@plantweenie: Aster tartaricus blooms until Thanksgiving. Gives bees fall food #flowerchat


 

@ecokatLA: @LifeOnTheBlcny @BushnellGardens @flowerchat Fun topic tonight, thank ya! Have a great evening. Keep on bloomin’ #flowerchat!


 

@jchapstk: Thanks for all the great tweets. RT @BushnellGardens: This has been interesting, it’s a first for me. #flowerchat


 

@PhilipMSr: Great topic Fern. Thanks to everyone for answering my questions and teaching me several new facts. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: @lifeonthebalcny did we get to all the questions? #flowerchat


 

@vagablonde515: RT @deltagardener: @LifeOnTheBlcny great #flowerchat tonight. Loved the subject!


 

@jchapstk: #Flowerchat Thanks for all the good info. Think I’ll plan a wildlife garden for next year. Nows the time to get started.


 

@BushnellGardens: Thank you for coming. RT @PhilipMSr: Great topic Fern. Thanks everyone for answering my questions & teaching me new facts. #flowerchat


 

@KelloggGarden: @bushnellgardens Ooh cool! I just bought saffron crocuses to plant at our Ontario offices. We’ll have to share w/ the bees. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: Thank you @lifeontheblcny for inviting me to the 1st #flowerchat. #flowerchat


 

@LifeOnTheBlcny: @bushnellgardens I think so. You did a great job! Did you have fun? #flowerchat


 

@jchapstk: RT @KelloggGarden: @bushnellgardens Ooh cool! I just bought saffron crocuses to plant at our Ontario offices. We’ll have to share w/ the bees. #flowerchat


 

@Caffinara: my herbs, borage , thyme, oregano and the roses are the most popular with bees #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: Beeeautiful. RT @KelloggGarden: @bushnellgardens O cool! Just bought saffron crocuses…Well have 2 share w/bees. #flowerchat


 

@BushnellGardens: We did. Nervous at 1st. RT @LifeOnTheBlcny: @bushnellgardens I think so. You did a great job! Did you have fun? #flowerchat


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand August 19, 2011 at 5:40 am

Hello: I’m so sorry I did not get a chance to sit in on #Flowerchat I promise I won’t miss your next one! Tweeting for Moo Poo & @BBBSeed for the #IGC11 trade show and working ranch chores around this horrible So Cal heat wave had me off Schedule. I can see by your tweet scroll it was a wonderful success Annie <|;-)

Reply

Fern August 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Annie–Hopefully there’ll be many more in the future!

carolyn August 19, 2011 at 5:58 am

That was great to read, sorry I wasn’t avail for the real thing, but…did you ever get an answer to question, “Is there a small Joe Pye Weed?” for balconies, i wonder. very interested and interesting. Thanks for everything, Fern, you are the best!

Reply

Genevieve August 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Carolyn, ‘Little Joe’ is a dwarf version.

Reply

Fern August 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Thanks for the backup Gen!

Reply

RedDryad September 14, 2011 at 8:00 am

To keep animals away from a garden you can plant Marigolds (they tend not to like the smell) Or chives, (onion I think). #Flowerchat

Reply

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