Georgia has the mild temperatures and long growing seasons that allow a plants to produce an abundance of those bright, showy flowers that are so attractive to butterflies. Vegetables, shrubs and vines give the gardener the choice of a butterfly plant for every part of the garden.
Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is also known as finocchio, anise and sweet fennel and is a member of the carrot family. The plant is a biennial that grows up to 2 feet tall the first year and produces taller stems with flat- topped clusters of yellow-gold flowers the second. Georgia has the long growing season Florence fennel needs. It takes from 80 to 100 days before the edible bulb is ready to harvest. The plant does not have to be harvested right away. Leave it in the ground for the second year and the flowers the butterflies love. Plant Florence fennel in full sun and a moist soil that is protected with mulch.
Indigo Spires Sage
Indigo Spires sage (Salvia 'Indigo Spires') is also known as Indigo Spires salvia and is a member of the mint family. The plant grows from 3 to 5 feet tall with a wider spread producing leaves that grow up to 3 inches long and small, blue-violet flowers growing in clusters up to 1 foot long from summer until first frost. Remove the spike-like flower clusters when most of the flowers are done to encourage more blooming. Plant Indigo Spires sage in full sun or partial shade and a moist to dry soil. The plant will die back after the first frost and re-appear again the following spring. Indigo Spires sage is hardy in USDA Zones 7 and 8 in Georgia.
Glossy abelia (abelia X grandiflora) is a member of the honeysuckle family that grows up to 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide. The plant produces narrow dark-green leaves from 1 to 2 inches long and 1-inch long, funnel-shaped white flowers with pink accents from mid-summer until first frost. Plant glossy abelia in full sun or partial shade and moist soil. The plant is hardy in all of Georgia and is evergreen in the southern part of the state.
Blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea) is also known as hardy passionflower and deciduous passionflower.The plant is a twining vine that grows up to 30 feet long with palm-shaped leaves. The vine produces white and purple-blue flowers up to 4 inches across that are followed by egg-shaped, orange fruits. Plant blue passionflower in full sun and most very well drained soil. The plant is hardy in USDA Hardiness zone 8 in Georgia.