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a drawing of a butterfly weed trumpet creepers seeds

(The same can’t be said for most other milkweeds.)

Zinnias add multi-bursts of color to your garden with their showy blooms. The taller varieties attract large butterflies including monarchs, and those hyper-winged hummers.

Buy this for the hummers, but look for some late season visits from monarchs too.

3. Mexican Sunflowers

If you’re concerned about hurting monarchs by growing tropical milkweed, there are simple precautions you can take in the few warm weather regions where this can be an issue. Click Here for More Info

Get more bang from your asclepias selections. These 3 varieties are all monarchs host plants for caterpillars, and nectar plants for both monarch butterflies and hummingbirds…and lots of other pollinators!

Some people believe that by creating a butterfly garden focused on monarchs, you’ll leave the other poor pollinators out in the cold…that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Possibly the best nectar flower for attracting both beauties to your garden doorstep. The brilliant orange flowers are tall beacons of light that the pollinators can’t miss. However, the dwarf varieties have not shown similar powers of attraction.

Trumpet vine’s sap has a skin irritant that makes some people and livestock itch if they come into contact with it, hence one of its common names: cow itch vine.

Trumpet vines prefer well-draining soil, but they’ll thrive in almost any soil. No need to add organic matter at the time of planting.

Plant trumpet vine in one of those 5-gallon plastic buckets sold by Lowes, Home Depot and Ace Hardware. Cut the bottom out of it, then put the container in a hole in the ground in your yard. The bucket will keep the vine’s roots from spreading. You’ll get trumpet vine without its nuisance aspects.

Varieties of Trumpet Vine

Trumpet vine is an easy-to-grow native plant that has masses of showy, yellow, orange or red trumpet-shaped flowers that hummingbirds adore. Sounds great, right? Well hold on before you plant it. The woody perennial vine can take over a yard in a single season in the warmest, wettest places, growing 30 and 40 feet tall and covering trees and fences faster than you say “Damn that invasive plant!” If you’re not vigilant, trumpet vine can escape your yard and choke out other plants in the surrounding landscape.

Pruning: Did we mention you need to prune these guys? It’s nigh impossible to overprune a trumpet vine. It’s so vigorous a grower it always comes back. Early in spring before new growth appears, cut the plant nearly to the ground, because aggressive pruning is the only way to keep it from taking over your yard.

That said, for people who live in arid climates, trumpet vines are a go-to plant. I and my neighbors in New Mexico adored our trumpet vines because they thrived in the infertile, hard-pan soil, survived on our paltry 15 inches of rainfall a year and endured tough Rocky Mountain winters. Trumpet vine brought a welcome shot of tropical color to the high-desert landscape.

They grow in part shade to full sun, but you’ll get the most blooms in full sun.