Sunday, April 29, 2012

How To Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

In order to attract butterflies to your garden, you have to make your landscape more appealing to them.  You’ll need to get the right plants that the caterpillars can use, food for the adult butterflies, and a pleasant place for the butterflies to breed and thrive.

Many types of butterflies will also need some sort of shelter from the wind.  Most butterflies really like the open areas with a lot of sun, you’ll probably need to use some sort of windbreak to protect them from high winds that can disturb them.

Where do Butterflies Hide?

Butterflies often come together by the edges of mud puddles.  You may have seen this before. No one knows why butterflies enjoy mud puddles so much, but many experts claim certain minerals that are present in the muddy water are what attracts them there.  If you want to attract a lot of butterflies, you might consider keeping some damp areas in your garden. 

The female adult butterflies need plants that can be eaten by the caterpillars that hatch from their own eggs.  Black swallow tails prefer dill and parsley.  The Monarch butterflies normally only lay their eggs on milkweed.  Female butterflies spend a lot of time searching for these type of plants to lay their eggs on.

What do Butterflies Eat?

Adult butterflies eat nectars from various flowers.  Flowering plants that contain  ample nectar are especially attractive to butterflies.  These flowers are usually brightly colored and sweetly scented.  Some species of butterflies feed on the honeydew produced by aphids.  Some even feed on plant spa, bird feces, or rotting fruit!

Your butterfly garden should contain at least one big patch of flowers that will attract butterflies.  You may want to get flowers that bloom in sequence, because this will keep butterflies visiting your garden more often. 

It is important to note that many flowers that are preferred by butterflies are considered weeds.  For example, dandelion is very attractive to several types of butterflies.  Thistle is another weed that many types of butterflies like. 

If you have an herb garden or vegetable garden, you may notice some butterflies congregating on some of your plants there.  The European cabbage butterfly enjoys broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables.  The black swallowtail often frequents herbs such as dill and parsley.

Do your best to use non-toxic insecticides in your garden unless absolutely necessary, because they can kill caterpillars.  Many insecticides can also kill the adult butterflies if they land on plants that have been treated, or if they drink nectar that was polluted by poison.

What type of flowers should you plant?

Flowers you should plant if you like to attract butterflies include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, herbs like parsley and dill, and many types of flowers.  Other good flowering plants for butterfly gardens include cosmos, marigolds, asters, lilacs, verbena, zinnias, sunflowers, thistles, bee balm, and sweet pea. And of course the "Butterfly Bush".

Making your garden friendly for butterflies doesn’t take a lot of extra work.  Just be sure to keep a small wet area for them and using some of the plants we mentioned on this post.  You will enjoy this often enough to attract numerous butterflies to your garden.

1 comment:

  1. Really nice information to go through this...please share more detail of this...