A friend just told me that Butterfly Bush is not as helpful to butterflies as we might have thought from the name. Why is this and what should I plant in New Jersey?
There has been a lot of press recently about the serious decline of Monarch butterflies. This has sparked greater interest in how to support butterflies. While we typically associate butterflies with flowering plants that provide them with nectar, this is only part of the story.
Adult butterflies have a completely different diet when they are wee caterpillars. …
Hi Kim, I attended one of your classes at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I hope you don’t mind my asking you a question.
Just returned from traveling in South America and missed timely wrapping the fig tree growing since this summer on my terrace in a pot. In the meantime there were numerous sub-freezing temperatures. Is it too late to wrap the fig i.e. is the damage done or would wrapping still be useful? Would appreciate your input.
Thanks for contacting me. …
We just had an addition put on our house and the soil in the surrounding area is now very compacted and full of debris. I want to plant there. What can I do to help the soil?
You are facing a common problem after construction. The movement of heavy equipment over soil, the constant walking back and forth over the same areas, and inadequate cleanup of construction materials create a recipe for infertile, compacted soil – the antithesis of what plants need….
How can I help birds in winter?
One important step in supporting birds is to provide them with a water source. Water is often the hardest thing for birds to find for themselves at any time of year, but especially in the winter. I use a heated birdbath that I plug into an outlet on my patio. I position the birdbath next to a stone wall so that squirrels can reach it too. And, – very important – I keep the birdbath clean and make sure that algae is not accumulating….
Could you discuss the benefits of planting natives in relation to what happens underground – the nutrients, fungi, etc that last for thousands of years….?
You are right – there is a lot going on underground with native plants!
Some native plants, such as many prairie plants, have very deep root systems, far deeper than those of exotic ornamental plants. These deep roots render the plants much more drought-resistant than shallow rooted plants. These roots are also very effective at stabilizing the soil around them and slowing or preventing soil erosion,…
“I find the wild wine much more invasive in our area than the burning bush (the birds brought me one 10 years ago and that is it) the wild wine, while pretty in fall is all over my garden. Also I find much more poison ivy now than ever before…any suggestions?”
Are you referring to Japanese Wineberry? It is quite similar to many of our native brambles, including Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus). Take a look at this link which shows Japanese Wineberry….