I’ve always been fascinated with butterflies, delicate, colorful and whimsical. Kathy Huber article gives some good advice on how to plant a flower garden for butterflies. In the past I have enjoyed watching them, but I hadn’t given much thought to actually creating an environment to which butterflies would be attracted, both in their caterpillar stage and in their adult stage. Kathy told of Eric Heuselkamp who planted a red and yellow butterflyweed in his yard and not only attracted butterflies in the summer but got an extra bonus this month. His family watched newly hatched butterflies emerge from the cocoons that the caterpillars’ larvae had spun on his plant. Kathy gives us some guidelines to follow if we want to know how to plant a flower garden for butterflies.
Butterflies are cold-blooded insects that bask in the sun to raise their body temperatures. A sunny, flowering garden with a flat stone for basking tucked among the blooms will help attract butterflies. Flowers that grow in the sun provide more nectar. Butterflies are attracted to simpler, brighter flowers. Flowers in the composite family (daisy and aster) and flowers in clusters (milkweed/butterflyweed and viburnum) are good nectar sources. Often the more fragrant a flower, the more nectar it produces.
Kathy suggests placing colorful flowering plants in bunches so that they are more likely to be seen by butterflies. She also suggests that you avoid the use of insecticide on your plants. Check my post for an organic method on how to get rid of harmful insects. Kathy also says that butterflies don’t care for windy areas, so it is best to plant your flowers where there are some windbreaks. Larger bushes, trellises and ornamental grasses will suit the purpose. Here’s something I was unaware of:
Butterflies drink by sucking water from moist ground. Sink a saucer in the ground, fill with sand and soak. Then put a flat pebble at the edge for a perch.
Kathy includes an idea for getting butterflies to use your garden as a birthing suite. You’ll enjoy her article on how to plant a flower garden for butterflies. Check it out by clicking here or on the link below. Let us hear from you, and like us on Facebook and G+.