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Butterfly Gardens

Underside of a Danaus plexippus plexippus feed...

UNDERSIDE OF A MONARCH BUTTERFLY (DANAUS PLEXIPPUS PLEXIPPUS) FEEDING ON NECTAR FROM AN ECHINACEA PURPUREA FLOWER Image via Wikipedia

Have you seen a couple of butterflies fluttering about your yard and would like to see more? With a butterfly garden you can grow both the plants that caterpillars like to eat and also the plants the adult butterflies enjoy as well.

By providing the right environment you can help them thrive. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Picking Your Plants

Your garden should include host plants and plants that contain flowers filled with nectar. You will want to research plants that will attract the types of butterflies local to your area.

Butterfly Weed, also known as Butterfly Plant is a type of milk weed that is a potential host for Monarch caterpillars. The plant also has flowers that are a nectar source for other butterfly species including the tiger swallowtail.

Some other host plants include herbs like parsley, dill, fennel and oregano. Other host plants include hollyhock, sunflowers, lupine, milkweed and violets, just to name a few.

There are numerous nectar bearing plants for those adults you want to attract such as: daylilies, peonies, delphiniums, echinacea, salvias, marigolds, morning glorys, petunias, zinnias, and allysum.

Garden

Butterfly gardens can be grown in beds or containers. The garden should be open and sunny as butterflies need sunlight to keep warm since they are cold blooded.

Flat rocks are also a nice addition since the butterflies like to be able to have a spot to rest and sun themselves. Since they can also get too hot, a damp area is nice, so that they can take a break from the heat if they need to.

By supplying an area with moist sand or mud, you will give the butterflies a place to rest and take a drink. The garden should also be in an area that is sheltered from the wind. This can be either a fence or wall, or row of shrubs.

If you want to attract butterflies you will want to avoid using pesticides in your garden as they are lethal to caterpillars as well as adult butterflies. Once the plants are established is shouldn’t be too long before you start to see butterflies more often, as they can detect food from miles away.

Butterfly gardens aren’t too complicated and can be truly rewarding. You can transform your entire yard or just a small section with ease. If they’re provided with a source of nectar and a place to lay their eggs there’s a good chance that they’ll stick around.

Kevin Pierce is a published author in the electronic security world. He also writes articles, blogs, and other creative things all over the web. His latest writings include Premium Clumping Cat Litter and Wrought Iron Lamps.   Article Source

Tags: butterfly weed, nectar source, milk weed, monarch caterpillars, adult butterflies

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