Where to plant a butterfly garden
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Butterflies are like magic; the colors, patterns, movement, and embodiment of nature delight children and adults alike. A garden that includes many plants that are food sources for butterflies and their larvae caterpillars bring these tiny creatures nearer to our lives. If you truly desire having adult butterflies around you should make sure to provide both nectar sources for adults and the specific plants that their larvae need to munch on. Choose a spot for your butterfly garden that gets full sun for most of the day and is sheltered from winds. Consider the maintenance requirements of the plants that you choose, making sure that they will receive enough moisture, drainage, etc.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Butterfly Gardening 101 - Tips on How to Attract ButterfliesContent:
- How to Plant a Butterfly Garden in Your Backyard
- Designing a Butterfly Garden
- Growing a Butterfly Garden
- Grow a butterfly garden
- How To Make Butterfly Gardens
- How to Make a Butterfly Garden
- How to create a butterfly garden?
- Planting a Butterfly Garden: The Ultimate Guide
How to Plant a Butterfly Garden in Your Backyard
A butterfly garden is no more complicated than any other garden and with a few simple tips you can easily convert a garden area to a butterfly haven or start a new garden from scratch. Butterfly gardens can be as big as you want or as small as a few containers. My passion for butterflies started out of a container that had parsley among other plants planted in it for decoration. We were very surprised to find some pretty little caterpillars all over it one day.
That started a deep passion for me and over the next several years I converted all my garden plants to butterfly nectar plants and host plants. Butterflies are cold blooded and must be warm in order to fly. Many butterflies must have temperatures greater than 65F or higher to fly so they use the sun to warm themselves. It is not surprising then that most butterfly nectar plants are sun-loving plants. When it comes to host plants, there are more varieties that will tolerate some or a lot of shade.
So, plan your flowering nectar plants for the sunny areas and some of the host plants will fit nicely into your part-shade or shady areas. If you can manage to find at least 6 hours of good sunlight in parts of your yard then that will open your choices of nectar plants and host plants considerably.
If, however, you live in a very shady area then all is not lost. There are some varieties of butterflies that actually prefer shady, wooded areas and not-surprisingly, these butterflies do not rely on flower nectar as their main food source. Instead they are more attracted to rotting fruit, dung, tree-sap, etc.
There are two different categories of plants, host plants and nectar plants, that are important to butterflies. Basically, nectar plants provide the nectar that adult butterflies drink from the flowers while host plants provide the leaves that the caterpillars eat before becoming a chrysalis from which the adult butterfly emerges. Nectar plants will attract passing-by butterflies while host plants will attract egg-laying female adult butterflies.
Having both creates colonies and larger populations of butterflies that stay around. It fulfills the butterfly life cycle and turns a garden of butterflies into the fun and fascinating place that it can be. Our companion article about Attracting Butterflies lists some of the top butterfly attracting nectar plants and a few host plants with which to get started.
Also please visit our articles about Nectar Plants and Host Plants if you would like some ideas for specific plants that will attract certain butterfly species to your garden. For example, Milkweed has many different varieties that are suited to different areas of the United States and Monarchs will use a tremendous amount of the available varieties. However, I certainly do not restrict myself to native plants and am always ready to try a new butterfly plant in my garden.
The reason for this is to avoid pesticides. Growing from seed is the safest but many smaller nurseries can tell you whether or not their plants have been treated with pesticides. So, just be aware that plants from big retailers may be harmful, especially to caterpillars, for a month or more after the purchase. A butterfly garden is the perfect place to go-all-out with extravagant explosions of color!
The same holds true for host plants.Groupings of the same plant make it easier for the butterflies to see, smell, and thus find your garden. Having stated that larger is better, do not be deterred if you only have a small space. Like I mentioned in the beginning, my butterfly passion started with a parsley plant in a container.
So, plant with extravagance whether it is large colorful garden plots or a few brilliant containers. Pesticides are designed to kill insects which, of course, include butterflies and caterpillars. Using native plants will help reduce the need for pesticides and outside of that you may just have to accept the occasional pests if you want to keep the garden healthy for your butterflies and caterpillars. My milkweed gets some aphids and milkweed bugs each year but neither slows down the caterpillars from munching it down to bare stems.
You may need to explore various non-chemical options if a serious problem erupts. If you are interested in more information and some actual garden design plans, you may want to invest in a book. There are several on Amazon. Out of the books I have come across, this is my favorite. There are other items that you can add to your garden to enhance your butterfly environment such as fruit feeders, mud puddles, and basking stones.
To read more about these please visit our article about Attracting Butterflies. Butterfly gardening is so much fun and so rewarding. I hope this article is helpful and I wish for you a colorful garden full of flying flowers! Newsletter for butterfly tips, sales, new products, coupons and more! Email Address. Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Visiting a Zinnia in the Garden A butterfly garden is no more complicated than any other garden and with a few simple tips you can easily convert a garden area to a butterfly haven or start a new garden from scratch.
Plants vary in their precise needs but in general most plants need healthy soil with a certain amount of organic matter mixed in to grow well. Fortunately, butterflies and native plants go hand-in-hand so you will almost certainly find plants that will grow well in your soil type and are also attractive to butterflies. Since butterfly plants often consist of many native plants, you will find that your fertilizer requirements may be lower.
Organic fertilizer is always best but I have had no problem with some use of chemical fertilizer in the soil. Butterflies do not care about the shape of a garden so you can lay out your garden any way you wish: garden plots, foundation plantings, along fences, even containers. Regular garden design applies: plant your taller plants in the back, group plants with complimenting colors if possible and plan to have various flowers in bloom throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Not only is this aesthetically pleasing but your butterflies will appreciate varying heights of flowers and the availability of nectar all through the butterfly season.
I have butterfly plants all around my house, deck, and yard so some areas are more sheltered than others. That being said, shelter is great if you can work it in to your design. Using shrubs such as butterfly bushes Buddleia davidii, a nectar source or spicebushes Lindera benzoin, a host plant as a windbreak would be ideal.
Butterflies love a sunny garden, Usually Butterflies are cold blooded and must be warm in order to fly. Choosing Plants for Your Garden There are two different categories of plants, host plants and nectar plants, that are important to butterflies.
Group your Plants to Help Butterflies Find your Garden A butterfly garden is the perfect place to go-all-out with extravagant explosions of color! No Pesticides in Butterfly Gardens Pesticides are designed to kill insects which, of course, include butterflies and caterpillars.
You may need to explore various non-chemical options if a serious problem erupts Garden Designs for Butterflies If you are interested in more information and some actual garden design plans, you may want to invest in a book.
Accessorize your Garden for Greater Butterfly Attraction There are other items that you can add to your garden to enhance your butterfly environment such as fruit feeders, mud puddles, and basking stones. How to Attract Butterflies. Search for:. No products in the cart.
Designing a Butterfly Garden
We at Rainbow Gardens are so proud to be a part of a city like San Antonio that supports such an amazing cause. At Rainbow Gardens we provide our support for the Monarch butterfly population by doing our best to search for, find, and stock milkweed the ONLY host plant for Monarchs and other nectar plants. We carry a multitude of host and nectar plants and native species that are sure to have the butterflies swarming your landscapes in sheer joy.We provide you with informational signs about pollinator plants and offer multiple fertilizer lines for many options to feed your butterfly plants safely. Our Rainbow Gardens Bandera location is even a Monarch Waystation, and one visit will leave no doubt why. When the sunshine is out, the garden is alive with the motion of fluttering wings. Our Bandera location is also host to our own in-house butterfly guru, Laura Jarvis.
Host plants. It's easy to plant a garden that you'll enjoy, while also making it attractive to butterflies. Many of the nectar plants.
Growing a Butterfly Garden
Do you like the color patterning of zebras, seersucker, and candy canes? Then you are a stripe-o-phile a fan of stripes. Start by carving out the corner of your yard where you want to start your butterfly garden. If you have grass growing there, remove the grass and work the ground so you have soft, loose soil to plant in. If the soil is challenging -- with excessive sand or clay, for example, add a liberal amount of compost to help give your plants a jump start. How much compost should you add? Plants for a Butterfly Garden There are two types of plants you need to have for your butterfly garden. The obvious ones are nectar plants, which feed adult butterflies. The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which hungrily eat the host plants.
Grow a butterfly garden
Watching butterflies bask in the sun or flit from flower to flower has to be one of the great pleasures of gardening. Here's how to create a butterfly garden that gives these gorgeous creatures a good place to hang out:. A variety of broad-leafed trees and shrubs will provide cover from wind, rain and predators. Locate your butterfly garden in a sunny site; if you can't find a protected spot, plant a windbreak of mid-sized cultivars of dense conifers like spruce, juniper or cypress. Invite butterflies to sunbathe.
Visit our Colorado State Extension office for more news, tools and resources. A backyard filled with native plants reflects the natural beauty found in most mountain communities.
How To Make Butterfly Gardens
Different species of butterflies have different preferences of nectar, in both colors and tastes. A wide variety of food plants will give the greatest diversity of visitors. Try staggering wild and cultivated plants, as well as blooming times of the day and year. Groups of the same plants will be easier for butterflies to see than singly planted flowers. Some varieties of flowers which are easy to find and grow in Kentucky, and will be attractive to many species of butterflies include:. Another way to attract adult butterflies to your yard is to offer places food plants for females to lay their eggs.
How to Make a Butterfly Garden
With pollinators in a serious decline, it is more important than ever for people to take part in their conservation. One of the most rewarding ways to do this is by creating butterfly habitat in your own garden. Follow these steps to get you started:. You can plant a garden anywhere backyard, front steps, raised deck and a pollinator will benefit from it. But if your intent is to create a butterfly sanctuary that attracts many species and allows them to grow and multiply, you'll want to choose a location with the following conditions:. SUN There should be a part of the garden that gets at least hours of full sunlight each day.
Butterflies have a distinct life cycle. A butterfly's life begins as an egg, which is generally laid on the leaf of a specific host plant. A.
How to create a butterfly garden?
Butterflies are always looking for nectar, so if you can provide the tastiest meal, you can keep them around! Become a better gardener! Discover our new Almanac Garden Planner features forButterflies and flowers were made for each other, and there are certain flowers that butterflies absolutely love to be around.
Planting a Butterfly Garden: The Ultimate GuideRELATED VIDEO: How to Plant a Butterfly Garden
Gardens can act as important stepping stones between nature reserves and other natural habitats by offering abundant supplies of nectar and food plants. Butterflies will visit any garden, however small if they can feed on suitable nectar plants and a well thought out garden can attract many species of butterfly. If you manage your patch to create breeding habitat you may see even more. Nectar provides butterflies and moths with energy to fly and find a mate.
Enjoy big, beautiful blooms year after year. Bright colors, perfect for shady areas.
Thanks to our wonderful Horticulturalists, who made a butterfly garden planting guide. For a PDF version, click here. Plant your own butterfly garden at home! Follow these simple suggestions to attract these beautiful and colorful insects to your own yard. PICK a sunny spot. Butterflies need sun to keep their bodies warm enough to fly.
Gardening Help Search.Butterflies bring joy to any garden but remember you need nectar plants to feed the adults and host plants to feed the young caterpillars. Yes, the host plants fed upon by caterpillars may look a bit ragged, but learn to appreciate this part of nature as well, or place these plants in less conspicuous locations in your garden. Listed below are excellent native plants that provide nectar for adults and leaves for the caterpillar larvae.