Enticing butterflies to your garden is fun and simple too. Butterflies are easy to attract to your garden if you plant a garden where the caterpillar (pupa step) has plants to eat and then the butterfly has flowers from which to sip nectar. Butterfly gardens are simple to plant and will provide you and your friends and family a chance to peek butterflies in their natural environment.
The basics are an open space with tons of sunshine and a location that is not windy. Choose a spot with lots of sunlight with a few rocks or stones that can warm up on which the butterflies will bask in the afternoon sun. Strive to locate your garden close to hedges or shrubs that will aid in shielding them from the hardy winds. If it is too windy, the butterflies won’t stay around for any length of time. The hedge or shrub needs to develop food for the caterpillar. You can find out what the caterpillar likes best from your Nursery Garden Center.
Butterflies relish mud puddles where they can drink the water and soak up minerals. A patch of moist soil will make them joyful. Most urgent of all is that the garden be pesticide free. Some gardeners like to utilize pesticides to chase away unwanted pests, unfortunately it will keep the butterflies from visiting your garden too. Plant your butterfly garden in a cranny where it will be free of chemical pesticides. Worthier still, ask your Garden Headquarters about organic gardening.
Flowers with nectar are a need for a butterfly garden. When planting these nectar sources try to put in plants that will provide nectar throughout the growing season since these are the origin of subsistence for the butterflies. Don’t discount shrubs and wildflowers. Roses, geraniums and lilies have no nectar so plant them somewhere else. Have your garden assorted to allure a the greater quantity of butterflies. Another ingredient for the butterfly garden is a source for larva food. The caterpillar needs food to develop into a butterfly. If there is no food present they will die. Plant some herbs for both of you. They love parsley, dill, and fennel for their meal. What herbs they don’t eat you can collect for home cooking with fresh herbs.
A butterfly garden can also be planted in containers. Purchase some elegant pots and plant them with flowers that retain a magnificent bouquet as well as vivid pretty colors (available at your Garden Center). Petunias, daylilies or sweet alyssum will do the trick. Of course the butterfly bushes are a given, or plant some hanging baskets with Impatients (shade will be necessary).
Some gardeners like to fashion there own feeder and solution. And it is easy to do. Put 4 parts water to 1 part sugar in a pot, bring it to a boil and cook it until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to room temperature. Use a container that is somewhat shallow, drench a paper towel with the solution and position it in the garden receptacle. Deposit a stone in the garden container so the butterflies have a seat to rest on while they are feeding.
This would be a great project for the kids. Have them maintain a diary of each of the various species that stop by your butterfly garden. Let them look up the butterflies on the computer to understand all about each special butterfly and it becomes not only enjoyable, but a learning experience besides.
Because there are so many growing zones in the United States you will want to speak with your Nursery Headquarters for suggestions of what plants to utilize for attracting butterflies in your individual zone.
There is an ancient American Indian Fable about butterflies:
“To have a dream come true you must seize a butterfly. Whisper to the butterfly what your request is and then set it free. This tiny messenger will carry your wish to the Great Spirit in the sky and it will become true.”
What a great folktale.
Article By Mary Hanna.