Friday, May 15, 2009

Gardening with Buttercups

We first discovered our buttercups a few years ago down by the mailbox in the roadway easement. After they bloomed we moved them into a flower bed. They've spread a bit there and I've enjoyed them so much I asked Randal to dig up all that were down along the road.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Buttercups and Candytuft
We had 10 plants we moved along both sides of the stepping stone path that leads out from our front door. They're early bloomers (April here in Central Virginia) and they bloom for several months. When they're done the plant dries up, the roots remain and other plants around it take their turn with blooms.

Buttercup is beneficial in many ways in the garden. They will provide butterfly nectar, as will dandelions, the latter being used by species such as the painted lady and brimstone.

Birds readily eat the leaves and seeds of the buttercup. The flowers are also visited by honey bees, moths, bugs, and beetles for pollen or nectar. Buttercups host microorganisms and nematodes. Beneficial nematodes offer a form of organic insect control that affects over 250 different kinds of pest insects.

Buttercups are considered invasive in some areas, so consider where you put it since it is not generally welcome in lawns, but if you're tired of the "keeping the lawn looking good" maintenance schedule, convert your lawn into flowers and a place that birds and wildlife will enjoy.

Note: Buttercups are poisonous and can cause death to grazing animals if consumed.

Related Articles:
Your Weeds May Be Wildflowers
Wildlife Gardening
Converting Lawns to Gardens
God and St. Francis on Lawns
Make Your Mowing Better

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