Rebuilding the butterfly garden

The butterfly garden took the worst hit of all the beds not flattened by trees during Ike. Most of the plants local butterflies love are woody flowering shrubs. The wind tore off their leaves, and broke their branches.

I cut most of them back to almost ground level. Some are slowly leafing back out, others are lost. I had many a distressed butterfly feeding at the humming bird feeders after the storm.

In the future, when a hurricane looks imminent I will cut the flowering shrubs back to about 6″ to 12″ tall to help protect them from the strong winds.

Now that fall is settling in, it is an excellent time to take cuttings from the plants that did survive and start to root them.

Take cuttings from the newest stems. Make sure you have at least three bunches of leaves on each. Remove the bottom two sets of leaves. Dip the bottom of the stem in rooting hormone ( available very cheap at any plant store ). Plant in soil. Keep the soil moist and keep the plants in a humid area. Outside works well. In a month you should see new leaves.

Tip: be sure to plant the stems so that they have at least an inch of soil underneath and press the soil around the stem tightly. You don’t want air bubbles near the stem.

3 thoughts on “Rebuilding the butterfly garden

  1. I had winds over 90mph at my house and my pentas came through extremely well. I have a couple of large red ‘butterfly’ pentas as well as more than a dozen ‘grafitti’. I love pentas because they are so easy to take care of. And in my part of Houston I can usually get them overwintered.

    Despite the 90 mph winds, my pentas suffered no leaf damage, and most of the blooms were still on after the storm. Great plants.
    My favorite colors are white, deep rose, red, and purple. I don’t really care for the pastels. And I don’t care for the blooms with whitish centers. I only want the solid colered ones.

  2. The pentas, heather, and lantana held up well. I’m happy with all of them.

    The cupheas got hammered and I lost two of them. One is coming back now.

    I haven’t seen any white ones, but I agree, the butterfly garden should be full of color.

  3. Herself and Gary, good luck to both of you as your gardens recover from the 90-mile and hour winds.

    We haven’t had hurricanes, but I’ve seen a full-grown Bat-faced cuphea crack off in a windstorm and go sailing like a frisbee.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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