Expert Advice: Butterflies and Hummingbirds

A master gardner tells you how to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

I want to plant a garden that will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. What types of plants would you suggest?
—Randy Robertson, Rome, GA

Hummingbirds go wild for red flowers, including salvia, bee balm, hibiscus, and zinnia. They also love lantana, butterfly bush, and trumpet creeper vine. Butterflies like a lot of the same plants, plus verbena, liatris, Joe Pye weed, native honeysuckle, coreopsis, and phlox. And remember to plant “host plants”— Queen Anne’s lace, milkweed, canna lilies (red), spicebush, parsley, dill, and fennel—on which butterflies will lay their eggs. Also, never spray these plants with pesticides. If you really want butterflies in your garden, learn to live with a bit of chewing from their babies… a.k.a. caterpillars.
—Meleah Maynard, garden writer and master gardener