Butterfly Gardening Update: Cowpen Daisy, Lantana and Other Native Plants Can Take Brutal Summer Heat

posted in: Butterfly gardening | 6

Extreme summer temperatures challenge butterfly gardeners this time of year, wilting many nectar sources and killing host plants that just can’t take this historic Texas heat.
Yet some butterfly garden plants endure, even thrive, when temperatures hover in the hundreds.
I’ve written before about my favorite butterfly plant Cowpen Daisy, also known as Golden Crownbeard.  This happy, resilient daisy is attractive to Queens, Monarchs, Swallowtails and other butterflies, and it also serves as host plant to the Bordered Patch butterfly.  Cowpen Daisy blooms even on 100-degree days.  Pruning and deadheading result in even more hearty flowers.
A bonus is Cowpen Daisy, Verbesina encelioides, produces a prolific seed crop, making for easy propagation.
It doesn’t make sense to plant anything right now, but don’t hesitate to gather seeds when you discover Cowpen Daisy’s dried blooms, which are already forming. For tips on cultivation, see the Biography of Cowpen Daisy on our Facebook page.
Other heat loving nectar sources tough enough to take our Texas heat include Greg’s Purple Mistflower and the native lantanas.   Purple Mistflower behaves like Cowpen Daisy in that the more you cut it back, the more blooms result.  It spreads, so if you want to contain it, pull it out by the roots.   Native lantanas were born to weather our Texas summers.
All these plants need a bit of water, but they’re not guzzlers.  With just a meager amount of attention, they’ll provide you and butterfly visitors months of enjoyment.

6 Responses

  1. James Head
    | Reply

    Interesting site

  2. […] you can  propagate more butterfly plants by starting plants with this year’s seeds. Cowpen Daisy, milkweed, Frostweed, sunflowers, and Jimsonweed can all be perpetuated by a shallow planting in […]

  3. […] native datura inoxia partners well with another favorite, Cowpen Daisy.  Plant them together and you’ll have sprays of yellow and white blooms throughout the […]

  4. […] native datura inoxia partners well with another favorite, Cowpen Daisy.  Plant them together and you’ll have sprays of yellow and white blooms throughout the […]

  5. Ken Rivard
    | Reply

    A hundred plus degree heat? I’d need more than a bit of water and access to some Cowpen Daisies to survive that! Interesting post and GREAT photos.

    • Monika Maeckle
      | Reply

      Ken! Please come down and visit the torrid Texas summer. We’ll send you back with handfuls of Cowpen Daisy seed. Thanks for the kind words.

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