Birds, Butterflies & Other Critters

Gardening Guide

Birds, Butterflies & Other Critters

Butterfly Gardens for North Texas

Butterflies are attracted by certain, specific plants.  Two kinds of plants… host plants that they lay eggs on, and nectar-producing plants that the adult butterflies need for food.

To attract butterflies to your garden you must begin, however, with the host plants they need.  These are the only plant species that the mother lays eggs on, since the larvae (caterpillars) can only eat these specific plants.  An example is the Monarch butterfly and their host plant – milkweed (including butterfly weed).  Milkweed contains a mild toxin to which the young caterpillar is immune.  He ingests it, however; and so does…

Butterfly Nectar and Host Plants

Butterfly Nectar Plants

As the name suggests, these plants are the ones that attract mature butterflies to feed on nectar, which is their primary source of food in this last stage of their life.


AbeliaConeflowerHeuchera (Coral Bells)PenstemonSunflower
AgastacheCoreopsisHoneysucklePentasTurk's Cap
Autumn Sage ( Salvia greggii)DaylilyLantanaPhloxVerbena
Bee BalmDesert WillowLavenderPincushion FlowerVitex
Black-eyed SusanDianthus

Deer & Rabbit Resistant Plants

Deer Resistant Plants

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are few, if any, plants that can be called truly deer proof. The following are some plants deer often avoid, but if deer are hungry enough, they’ll eat just about anything.


Annuals and Perennials

Ageratum Dusty Miller Mexican Mint Marigold
Angel Trumpet Ferns (most) Mexican Oregano
Artemisia Four Nerve Daisy Mums
Autumn Sage Gomphrena Rock Rose
Bearded Iris Hummingbird Bush

Plants that Attract Hummingbirds

Flowers are a beautiful and natural way to attract hummingbirds.  Here are some plants (listed by common name) you can plant to get the hummingbirds coming to your garden.


Agastache Desert Willow Pincushion Flower
Aloe Vera Esperanza Pineapple Sage
Althea-Rose of Sharon Firebush Plumbago
Autumn Sage (Salvia Greggii) Flame Acanthus Pomegranate
Azalea Foxglove Pride of Barbados
Beard Tongue Fuchsia Red Hot Poker
Bee Balm…

Plants That Naturally Deter Mosquitoes

Citronella (Geranium) – Sun
Lemon Grass – Sun to Part-Shade
Rosemary – Sun
Lavender – Sun
Lemon Thyme – Sun
Catnip – Sun to Part-Shade
Catmint – Sun to Part-Shade
Lemon Balm – Sun to Part-Shade
Basil – Sun to Part-Shade
Mint – Sun to Part-Shade
Bee Balm (Monarda) – Sun
Lemon Verbena – Sun
Eucalyptus (Lemon or Silver) – Sun
Garlic – Sun
Mexican Mint Marigold – Sun to Part-Shade
Nasturtium – Sun to Part-Shade