Attracting butterflies to your backyard
Butterfly Gardening

Butterfly Gardening

What is butterfly gardening? It's simply the art of growing flowers and plants that will attract these colorful and dainty creatures to your garden. Delight your family and visitors with beautiful butterflies, but be certain to create a safe habitat for them. If you own cats, you better rethink your plans, because it would be a shame to attract these lovely insects to their death.

The design your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Some typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but make sure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.

beautiful butterfly garden It is important to find out which plants and flowers will attract the species of butterflies. that live in your area. This information can be found at the local library To create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some kind. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well. I installed a pond that keeps the water running year round, even in the dead of winter. This attracts butterflies, but you also see birds bathing, squirrels taking drinks. Not to mention the tranquility the sound of running water brings.

When planting your butterfly garden, be careful how you coordinate the colors you choose for your flowerbeds. Although butterflies do not care about your choice of color, you don't want your garden to be a hodgepodge of unrelated colors and textures. Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender.

You know, that's kind of a rule of thumb. We mix many plants together in our backyard and it gives it a natural look of nature. So read information on planting a butterfly garden, but feel free to add your own touch.

Some people find it helpful to draw and color a layout of their butterfly gardening plan to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy. These colors have a greater impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.

Here are a few tips you need to keep in mind.

  • Butterflies need sunlight. They are cold-blooded, so they use the sun to warm up their bodies. Pick a sunny spot for your garden and place a few flat stones around so the butterflies can rest while warming up.
  • Butterflies need water just like we do. But, instead of drinking from a faucet, they slurp up moisture from the soil. Butterflies prefer to land on moist dirt or sand on the sides of puddles. Keep a mud puddle damp in your garden, or fill a bucket with sand and enough water to make the sand moist.
  • Don't use pesticides in your garden! Pesticides can harm butterflies, birds and other insects in your garden.
  • Butterflies are attracted to purple, orange, yellow and red flowers, but they are also attracted to plants where they can lay eggs and that will provide food for caterpillars. Monarch butterflies and milkweed are an example of this.
  • Butterflies need shelter from wind and rain, and a place to rest at night. Planting your garden near shrubs and trees will give them the shelter they need.
  • Try to plant a variety of species with different blooming times, colors, and heights. This will create a garden that is interesting to look at and will attract many kinds of butterflies for a longer period of time.

Some of the plants you might consider include:

  • Alyssum
  • Bee Balm
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Butterfly bush
  • Butterfly weed
  • Coreopsis
  • Cosmos
  • Indian Paint Brush
  • Joe Pye Weed
  • Lavender
  • Marigold
  • Milkweed
  • New England Aster
  • Purple coneflower
  • Zinnia