by Donna Lewis
The summer heat and dry conditions make us wonder… what the heck can I plant that will help the hummingbirds and the butterflies? And of course, it has to be something that is easy to take care of.
I have found that the Coral Honeysuckle Vine and the Flame Acanthus bush fit the bill. Both are visited by butterflies and hummers. A two-for-one deal.
The Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a climbing vine that can also grow as a ground cover. It is ever blooming in some years. It likes sandy loams, clay, and poor soils.
How much better can it get? You can grow it in the full sun or part shade. It goes great on an arbor or on a fence like I have it.
By the way, this is not the invasive Japanese Honeysuckle.
The next plant that loves our summers is the Flame Acanthus bush (Anisacanthus quadrifidus). It’s extremely drought tolerant , gets no diseases, and is easy to grow. Again both hummers and butterflies like it.
This bush will die down in the winter. Cut it back in the spring before it starts to green up.
Both of these are great plants for hot and dry conditions. They need no fertilizers and little water once established.
Be adaptable and watch what your garden and wildlife like. Then your garden will be successful in an ever changing world.
I hope you will always see the wonder and beauty in nature.