Jasmine (Jasminum) is an aromatic plant with more than 200 species. Native to Asia and parts of China, jasmine is attractive to butterflies because of its strong fragrance and need for pollination. Jasmine varietals grow either as shrub or a vine and there are several species that are particularly appealing to butterflies.
There are a wide variety of day- and night-blooming jasmine plants, but butterflies are typically attracted to those that flower during the day. Doing best in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 7 through 10, jasmine plants mainly produce a white flower, though some varieties may boast yellow or pink blooms. The jasmine vine should be planted where it will receive full sun and partial shade. Easy to care for, jasmine plants often attract moths and hummingbirds in addition to butterflies.
There are a handful of varieties of jasmine plants that bloom during the day that attract butterflies because of their fragrance and coloring. Two kinds of day-blooming jasmine (Cestrum diurnum) are particularly appealing to the colorful winged creatures: purple cestrums and white cestrums. Both of these varieties are upright-growing shrubs that produce tubular-shaped clusters of flowers during the warmer months. White cestrums are particularly hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11, whereas the purple varietal prefers USDA zones 8 through 10. Another popular jasmine plant that attracts butterflies is poet's jasmine, or common white jasmine (Jasminum offincale). This is a heavily fragrant varietal that is popular among gardener's because of its long-lasting, twining nature. Poet's jasmine is particularly hardy in USDA zones 7 and 8 and produces flowers from late spring until the first frost. Because of this plant's intense smell, it often attracts butterflies and hummingbirds when in bloom.
Butterflies are sun addicts, meaning the majority of their daily movements are influenced by the sunlight. Colorful creatures, butterflies are drawn to many shades and shapes of flowers. Because butterflies need nectar for proper nourishment, the fragrant jasmine plant is a great source of food. An added bonus to including jasmine and other flowers attractive to butterflies in your garden is that they will bring in other wildlife, such as moths and bees.
Pests and Insects
In addition to serving as a host to butterflies, jasmine plants often attract some insect pests. Spider mites, mealy bugs and scale insects are all examples of miniscule bugs that may hurt the overall health of your jasmine plant if not taken care of quickly. Regular pruning will help prevent your plant from getting attacked by unwanted visitors. An insecticidal soap spray or the application of horticulture oil are additional options for controlling pests.
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