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Old 07-11-2017, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
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We have plenty of hummingbirds, butterflies (monarchs, darters, swallowtails, gulf fritillaries, sulfurs), snowberry clearwings, velvet ants, several types of bees, Carolina wrens, cardinals, blue jays, dragonflies, tree frogs. At night the backyard is full of fireflies. We don't use pesticides in the backyard (except organic on the tomatoes and okra).
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:50 PM
bg7
 
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I planted wildflower seeds from American meadows this year for the bees and such. They seem to love them, but still fewer than last year, which were fewer than the year before. I use no pesticides at all in the back garden. In the front, on the lawn only.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:50 PM
 
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If you've gotten one hummer this year, you will have more next year and still more the year after that. They have excellent memories and take their kids back to the best feeding spots.


The catch with attracting butterflies is that you need to plant whatever they need to feed their caterpillars on. All the butterfly bushes in the world will attract nothing if they can't feed their kids in your yard. 8-Spotted Foresters, Virginia Creeper Sphinx and a few others live on Virginia Creeper vines. Fritillaries live on any kind of violets. Spicebush swallowtails live on Eastern Spicebush (Lindera) (NOT Korean spicebush) and/or sassafras. Black swallowtail caterpillars eat carrots, parsley, dill, fennel, and Queen Anne's Lace. Milkweed of course for Monarchs. Giant moths like Io, Luna and Cecropia like willow trees, black gum and black cherry. Pearl Crescents like Asters. Several blue butterflies like Lupins. Checkerspots like Black-Eyed Susans. Highbush cranberry (Viburnum) attracts Hummingbird Clearwings.


And there are good and bad years for butterflies. This year has been lousy; I see little lately beyond those little white cabbage butterflies. keep working at it and you should bring them back in hordes.


Any specific butterflies you want to see in your yard, this site lists their host plants:


Welcome to BugGuide.Net! - BugGuide.Net


And this one lists other butterfly how-tos:


http://www.thebutterflysite.com/crea...y-garden.shtml


And this lists all kinds of native plants you can use in your yard to attract local insect species that will be grateful forever and which will feed your birds:


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:16 PM
 
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Up north here in NH it's been rather butterfly free this summer. Maybe the quirky winter - very warm February, very cold and snowy March - did them in.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:22 PM
 
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Spot on, Cliffie. You have to plant what they like, not just the pretty flower from the garden center.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:52 PM
 
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I see tens of bees every day here in Oregon but only a few humming birds.
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