Lure Butterflies to Your Garden!

Spring means it’s time for butterflies, planting vegetables — and warmer weather. Here are a few tips for your gardening week.

LURING BUTTERFLIES: Pentas, lantana, verbena, zinnia, salvias (many different species and cultivars), Mexican butterfly weed (Asclepias curassavica) and buddleia are excellent flowering plants to attract butterflies into your garden. These plants also provide colorful flowers through the summer. Do not use any insecticides (even organic) on plants grown for butterflies.

Clay pots

After a summer of vigorous growth outside, some containerized plants may be pot bound. Check and repot into larger containers if necessary. 


POT CLEAN UP: Terra-cotta pots are beautiful, but as time goes by, water evaporating from the sides and rim can leave behind unattractive mineral salt residues. Remove these by soaking empty pots overnight in a solution of one part vinegar to four parts water. The residues should come off with a stiff brush. If the pot is too large to soak, scrub it with the vinegar solution.

HOT VEGGIES: Vegetables planted in May must be able to take the extreme heat of summer. Excellent hot weather vegetables that can be planted this month include amaranth, cantaloupe, cucuzza, cushaw, eggplant (especially the narrow Japanese types), Malabar spinach, edamame (edible soybean), peanuts, pumpkin, Southern peas, hot peppers, luffa gourd, mirliton, okra, sweet potato, watermelon and yard-long beans.

HOT, HOT, HOT: May is a transitional month for Louisiana gardeners. Intense heat arrives with daytime highs reaching the 90s and nighttime lows staying in the 70s. Although the ideal season for planting hardy trees and shrubs is past, many heat-tolerant vegetables, bedding plants, summer bulbs and tropicals can be planted now.


Watering becomes critical as the temperatures rise. 


WATERING NEEDS: Spring weather is fickle, and conditions can be rainy or dry. Monitor rainfall in your garden carefully (use a rain gauge) and water deeply, thoroughly and occasionally if the weather is dry.

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