- Inside: Butterflies are a joy to have around your garden. So, how can you do yourself and these beautiful pollinators some good? Create an amazing butterfly garden. *Contains affiliate links.
What could be more peaceful than sitting by your garden, mug of coffee or better yet a glass of wine in hand soaking in the sunshine and scenery? I’ll tell you what could be better, all of that plus dozens of beautiful butterflies flitting nearby, multiplying your joy!Butterflies are gorgeous pollinators and are a joy to have around your garden. Click To Tweet
Butterflies are gorgeous pollinators and are a joy to have around your garden. Many butterflies are classified as endangered species. They are an extremely valued member of our ecosystem but are also important to the agricultural/food industry as butterflies are the second largest pollinating group next to bees. So, how can you do yourself and these beautiful pollinators some good? Create an amazing butterfly garden.
How to Attract Butterflies to Your GardenBefore designing your butterfly garden it is a great idea to do some research first. Click To Tweet
Before designing your butterfly garden it is a great idea to do some research first. Butterflies have livable ranges like most creatures. It is important to find out what butterflies inhabit your corner of the world by consulting a guidebook or website. Watching your garden and seeing what butterflies already visit your yard is also helpful. It’s important to have blooming plants from late spring to early fall when butterflies are feasting on nectar. You might not find baby butterflies — a.k.a. caterpillars — cute or beautiful but providing food plants for butterflies to lay eggs on and feed their babies may keep the gorgeous adults coming back year after year. In terms of conservation of these creatures, it is essential to support all parts of their life cycle!
Steps to Create a Butterfly Garden
- Keep the sun in mind. A spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day is essential. Butterflies are cold-blooded and must keep warm to fly.
- Grow native plants. Butterflies are less specific about their nectar sources but are very particular about where they lay their eggs. For example, Monarch butterflies lay their eggs only on Milkweed plants.
- Pick the right colored flowering plants. Butterflies love bright colors – red, yellow, orange, pink and purple.
- Make sure there is shelter from strong wind. Butterflies are delicate and they have a hard time feeding if it’s too windy.
- Create butterfly spas. Butterflies need water and minerals and will drink from water on soil in a behavior known as puddling.
- Provide a few large rocks for basking. As cold-blooded creatures, butterflies warm their body temperature from their environment. Rocks absorb lots of heat and basking in the sun also raises their body temperature enough for flight. The best body temperature for a butterfly to fly is between 82 °-102° F.
- Avoid pesticide use.
Ideally, you want a spot where you can sit and view your garden, basking in the glory of your butterfly visitors. Keeping in mind the above 7 steps will give you the best chance of receiving multiple butterfly guests year after year.
Nectar Flowers for Adult Butterflies
- butterfly bush
- butterfly weed
- Joe Pye Weed
- Black-eyed Susan
- Bee Balm
- iron weed
Food Plants for Baby Butterflies
Female butterflies are very particular about where they lay their eggs and will search until they find a suitable plant.
- wild lupine
- Blanket Flower
- Common Milkweed
- Purple Coneflower
- dill, carrots, parsley