Butterflies can add even more beauty to already beautiful landscape. It’s fun to see them enjoying all of the flowers that we planted.
Butterfly gardens require several things to be successful: the right plants, a protected location, easy to reach water, and the right gardening attitude.
The Right Plants
We can easily create lists of plants that butterflies love. Consider planting Asters, Joe-Pye weed, Black-eyed Susans, Lantana, Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Liatris, Pentas, Coreopsis and Purple Coneflowers. These are gorgeous plants and butterflies will flock to them in large numbers.
To be sure that you have the right plants for your area, a little research can help. Before you even begin your butterfly garden, find out which species of butterflies are in your area. Consider taking an exploratory hike around your location with a butterfly identification book. This may take a little extra time and effort, but the results will be worth it. After you have compiled your list of local butterfly species, be sure to write down in your butterfly garden plan what these particular species of butterflies use for nectar and food plants.
A Protected Location
Be sure that your garden is in a location that provides at least six hours of sunlight per day. Butterflies are cold-blooded creatures and therefore do better where they are warm and sheltered.
Wind can be a butterfly's worst enemy so be sure to have plenty of wind protection in your design. You can plant tall shrubs and other plants in order to create a wind break, but a location that avoids heavy winds is even better.
By providing water, you’ll attract butterflies. Gardeners can easily provide water for butterflies by soaking the ground in an area next to their favorite plants or by having small dishes/birdbaths with water in the garden. Stones placed in the birdbaths give the butterflies a place to land and drink.
If you have a small pond, lay a stick on the edge so one end is in the water and one end on the shore. This will provide an easy entranceway for both butterflies and frogs.
The Right Gardening Attitude
And finally, we need to create a gardening attitude that says that in order to get those gorgeous butterflies, we need to feed the caterpillars that hatch out to be butterflies. It is OK to plant specific plants these immature insects require and it is OK if they chew them up. You have to have food in your garden for all phases of this creature if you want to attract them. The tip is to plant these plants at the back of the garden so you won’t see the damage.
Follow these few simple steps and you’ll be visited by plenty of beautiful butterflies each gardening season.