Enjoy Backyard Wildlife with a Butterfly, Moth and Hummingbird Garden
Your backyard flower garden can become a lively butterfly, moth, and hummingbird garden if you choose the right flowers. Here are some top choices for a beautiful flower bed that will be irresistible to these wild creatures.
- Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Rough blazing star (Liatris aspera)
Meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis)
Black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Pink everlasting (Sedum alboroseum)
Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
For Ruby-throated hummingbirds:
- Scarlet bergamot (Monarda didyma)
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus)
For White-lined sphinx moths:
- Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata) - the moths feed on this at dusk
- The milkweeds and blazing stars may be available only from nurseries that specialize in native prairie plants.
- Be sure to allow lots of space for the Mexican sunflower - it will be at least 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall at maturity. It is an annual, along with the vinca, flowering tobacco, and scarlet runner bean. All the others are perennials, or are annuals that reseed themselves.
- For further details, see the book Landscaping for Wildlife, published by the Nongame Wildlife Program, Minnesota DNR.
- Butterfly, bee & moth garden designs.
Prepared by Carrol Henderson, Supervisor, Nongame Wildlife Program, Minnesota DNR