Why you may want to reconsider planting a butterfly bush in your yard

The Dunwoody Community Garden is housed at Brook Run Park in DeKalb County. The garden was founded in August 2009 with 60 numbered plots.

While the name may suggest it could be a good way to attract beautiful visitors to your yard, an expert suggests that gardeners reconsider before planting a butterfly bush at home.

Wildlife ecologist Doug Tallamy, recommends thinking of your yard, no matter the size, as a part of the local ecosystem. Tallamy told Yahoo that he encourages people to stop planting the butterfly bush — a fast growing shrub that has colorful flowers.

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The bush is an invasive plant that crowds out native plants, according to Yahoo.

“While it is invasive in many parts of the U.S., what’s really important is that the plant has the ability to be invasive almost anywhere. If it’s not in some place, chances are good it will be (at some point),” Tallamy told Yahoo.

He also notes that planting it in your own yard means it will spread to places like ecosystems and protected areas.

While the bush is beautiful, it’s doesn’t actually benefit butterflies.

“People rationalize their perceived need for butterfly bush because they think it helps butterflies,” Tallamy said. “What they really want is a pretty plant in their yard.”

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Instead, Tallamy suggests instead looking to native species like milkweed, joe-pye weed and oak trees.

“If you plant butterfly bush, and not native [species], then right away you’re removing at least 75% of the food that is supporting the biodiversity that’s out there,” he said.