We’ve had a couple of wood planter boxes in our sideyard that I made a few years ago for herbs and vegetables but have never had good luck with growing edibles. Yesterday, we decided to repurpose one as a butterfly garden, which is more in keeping with our lot flora in general and hopefully will be more successful than the tomatoes and basil were.
We went to a nursery in the Midway District of San Diego, Walter Andersen’s, which has quite a large selection and is on to the way to our favorite beach neighborhood, Ocean Beach. Our total purchase for the day was $77.49 for the following plants and one bag of bedding soil. I sprang for a couple of extra large choices rather than smaller pots, so the total cost could easily be closer to $50 for the same selections at a slightly smaller planting size.
- Achillea Millefolium (Siren song angie)
- Acelpias fascicularis (Mexican whorled milkweed)
- Asclepias mix mojonnier (Milkweed)
- Asclepias physocarpa (Hairy Balls / Family Jewels) – commonly named for the seed pods resemblance to the human testicle. Seriously.
- Cuphea Llavea
- Galvezia speciosa ‘Firecracker’ (Firecracker Snapdragon)
All of these are butterfly friendly and pretty well suited to the San Diego climate. Some, like the cuphea and galvezia are also great for hummingbirds. Only the galvezia is a “true” California native plant but the asclepias mix is probably the most common milkweed you’ll see in yards around town and a great monarch butterfly attractor.
Wanted to share this project and plant selections in case others would like to easily add some habitat for butterflies at their own home. Cheers!