Perennial Sunflowers in Autumn

Want height, color, and pollinators in your late-season perennial bed? Add perennial sunflowers and their relatives, as well as false sunflowers.

Helianthus species and Heliopsis species are irresistible to butterflies. Elecampane (Inula helenium – upper right) is a summer bloomer that attracts a wide variety of pollinators, including bees and hover flies. Often growing 6 […]

Milkweed in Netting Bags

Milkweed bugs (nymphs upper left and adults middle left) literally suck the life out of milkweed pods and their seeds. The bug-eaten pods are already dried and split, ready to spread their fluff.

I’m trying small nylon-net bags this year over the pods to help prevent the milkweed-bug damage. Once the pods formed and before […]

Blackberry Lily Seeds Ripening

Some plants really live up to their names! The Blackberry lily, Iris domestica (formerly Belamcanda chinensis), shows its ripening seed clusters when the pods split.

It likes full sun, is drought tolerant once established, and is attractive to native sweat bees and other pollinators. It’s also an easy and fun plant to start from seed! […]

Coral Honeysuckle Attracts Hummingbirds

Want to attract hummingbirds to your garden? Plant our native coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), which blooms red from April through September. It does best with some support, and light pruning keeps it to your desired size.

Coral honeysuckle tends to attract aphids, but you’ll probably see ladybugs and lacewings hunting for their dinner. Here you […]

Goldenrod and Ragweed Not All Sneezes

Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) and Goldenrod (Solidago spp) are blooming now. Goldenrod is a wonderful plant for our native pollinators and rarely causes allergies — monarch butterflies love it!

Unfortunately goldenrod is often blamed for the irritation ragweed can cause. Goldenrod can spread rather aggressively, but it’s a beneficial plant if you have room. It’s also […]