My Butterfly Garden (year 2)

Thu. Jul. 12, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  My Butterfly Garden (year 2)

I planted a butterfly garden last year (2017).  It really started coming up but had some issues with rabbits and disease.  I lost a few plants due to our wickedly cold and long winter, however, it’s looking quite lovely.  

Butterfly garden June 2018

And more blooms will take place later this year.


I also wanted to share some other amazing native options for the Upper Midwest.  First up, Purple Lovegrass.  This darling offers up rosy-purple little flowers above spiky foliage from now through Fall.  

Purple Love Grass

It grows to about 2 feet tall and likes full sun and a drier soil. It’s a bunch grass and grows in clumps of about 10 inches.  It’s lovely as a border or mass planting. And is deer resistant! Maybe rabbits too??

Prairie Onion is not favored by the bunnies, BONUS, strategically placing this in the landscape may even protect other plants.  Great idea! Prairie Onion also blooms from now into early Fall.

Prairie onion

It grows up to 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide and likes full sun to part shade.  The soft purply pink flowers also attract butterflies and bees. By the way, the bulbs of wild onions are edible.

For something completely different, try Eastern prickly pear cactus.  Yes, a cactus that’s not only able to grow here but is a native to the upper midwest! Look for the latin name, ‘Opuntia humifusa’.   

Eastern Prickly Pear

If you have a hot, dry, sandy spot then try the prickly pear. From June to July, the cactus puts out some of the most stunning flowers. Bathed in bright yellow, the 3″ wide blooms are immediately set upon by a myriad of different pollinator species. Beetles, bees, and butterflies, this plant attracts them all. After flowering, the pads produce bright red, edible fruits that are almost as attractive as the flowers.  

Check out my Favorite Links tab for native plant nurseries.  These work for the Upper Midwest.