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Waterwise Butterfly Planter

D.I.Y. Waterwise Butterfly Planter

A Beautiful, Easy-Care, Butterfly Magnet

This water-wise planter does not need much attention to thrive and it attracts pollinators like a magnet! Plant creatively using your favorite colors, it is important to choose a variety of plants with diverse bloom shapes to attract more butterflies and encourage a healthy, biodiverse garden.

a vase filled with purple flowers

Care Instructions

The plants in this arrangement need 6+ hours of full sun to grow properly and bloom to their fullest potential. Feel soil often and only water when it is dry several inches down. Fertilize monthly with a balanced plant food such as Dr. Earth's 'Premium Gold' All Purpose Fertilizer; sprinkle this organic slow release granules around the base of plants before watering.

Be sure to spend some time deadheading spent flowers, to encourage more blooms. The perennials in this planter will perform year after year, but may get overcrowded in the pot after a year or two. Late winter or early fall is a great time to divide these perennials, or transplant them into the garden. The annuals featured here will shine for several seasons, based on the variety, but will need to be replaced at the end of the season.

Shopping List

  • 1 Large pot, at least 17-20-inches in diameter with drainage holes

  • 1 Salvia 'Victoria Blue' 1 Gal. - Plant "A"
  • 1 Rudbeckia 1 Gal. - Plant "B"
  • 1 Celosia, Verbena, or Gomphrena 1 Gal. - Plant "C"
  • 1 Echinacea 1 Gal. - Plant "D"
  • 2 Vinca Cora 4-inch - Plant "E"
  • 2 Lantana 4-inch - Plant "G"
  • 1 Zinnia 4-inch - Plant "F"
  • 1 Dr. Earth 'Pot of Gold' All Purpose Potting Soil 1.5 cu. ft.
  • 1 Dr. Earth Root Zone Fertilizer 4 lb.

Full Sun Project

This water-wise planter does not need much attention to thrive & it attracts butterflies like a magnet!

Step 1

Determine an area of your garden that gets 6+ hours of direct, full sun. Choose a large pot that is roughly 17-20 inches in diameter. Be sure to pick a pot with drainage holes and a saucer to collect excess water.

a vase of flowers

Step 2

If desired, place a mesh pot-screen over the drainage hole to retain soil and keep pest insects out. Fill the container about 1/3 full with Dr. Earth 'Pot of Gold' All Purpose Potting Soil.

a vase of flowers

Step 3

Mix in a generous handful of Dr. Earth's 'Root Zone' fertilizer. Placing this near the roots will give your plants a instant boost of nutrients and encourage vigorous roots, healthy foliage, and more blooms faster.

a vase of flowers

Step 4

Gently remove plants from their container and place in the pot according to diagram. Before you plant, consider which direction the planter will be viewed from. If you want this container to have a front and back, follow the diagram as shown. Otherwise, if you want this to be viewed from all angles simply group the tallest plants at the center and use the lower plants around the edges.

Start with the larger 1 gallon plants, then add another layer of soil, leaving room for the 4-inch plants. These smaller plants should sit at the same soil level, then add more potting soil to fill spaces in-between.

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Step 5

Hydrate the container well from all angles, until water is running out of the drainage hole; repeat to make sure the soil is fully saturated.

a vase of flowers

The Plants in this Project

a vase filled with purple flowers

Salvia 'Victoria Blue'


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a close up of a flower


a close up of a purple flower


a close up of a purple flower


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Vinca 'Cora'

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a close up of a flower