Porterweed – Growing In Atlanta

Q: Can I grow porterweed in metro Atlanta? I saw some in the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens and I just fell in love with it!

A: Porterweed, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, is an excellent butterfly attractor. The blue flowers bring hungry butterflies by the dozens. Despite this, I rarely see it in local garden centers. Unfortunately for you and the butterflies, it is a tropical plant, not winter hardy in Atlanta. Substitutes include lantana, salvia and cosmos. I have several lists of butterfly magnets at bit.ly/GAbutterfly.