Butterfly gardens – How to attract butterflies

Your way to butterfly gardens

Plant it and they will come..butterflies, that is. These seemingly mysterious creatures are easy to attract if you know what flowers will lure them to your garden and backyard.

Try to include at least one of these butterfly classics to create your butterfly garden…

Butterfly weed/Asclepias tuberosa:

This hardy perennial weed produces a multitude of bright orange flowers that bloom throughout the summer. Consider purchasing at a nursery as seeds tend to be hard to sprout. If starting by seed, get a head start by planting indoors six weeks prior to outdoor planting time.
Plant Height: 12-36 inches
Planting Depth: 1/4 inch
When to plant: Spring/after danger of frost has passed
Needs full sun

Lantana/Lantana camara:
The flowers on this beautiful shrub come in many different combinations to include solids of red, orange, yellow, white, or pink. There are numerous multicolored varieties and my favorite is the combination of pink, yellow, and orange. This perennial survives the winter only in zones 8-10, all other areas should treat it as an annual.
Plant Height: 24-48 inches
When to plant: Spring/after danger of frost has passed
Needs full sun

butterfly garden

Butterfly bush/Buddleia davidii:
This popular hardy perennial grows
3-10 feet tall and comes in many different hues to include, purple, pink, and white clusters. It can be planted in a container, as a shrub border, or with other perennials.
Needs full sun

Butterflies are cold-blooded and prefer sunny locations with bold splashes of color and fragrance. They are attracted to vines, shrubs, herbs, and nectar producing annuals and perennials that are planted in groupings. Plant native varieties of butterfly favorites as often as possible. Place several flat, dark rocks in your garden that will enable your winged visitors to bask in the warmth of the day.

Plenty of water is essential for optimal plant growth and for providing a much needed cool drink on a warm summer day. Make sure to provide shelter from the wind by using bushes or fencing, as strong winds can interfere with flight, feeding, and mating.

Additional ideas:
*Place a shallow dish filled with pebbles, sand, and water in your butterfly gardens as another way to give the butterflies a drink.
* Keep a butterfly diary: Keep track of what type of butterflies you attract, what plants they are attracted to, and what time of day and year they are observed. This will help you discover what additional plants you might want to add next year.

Please don’t forget:

*Do not use chemical insecticides in your butterfly gardens as it will kill both caterpillars and butterflies.
*Some birds will eat butterflies. Place a birdfeeder across the yard to keep the birds occupied and full!

How to create your own self-contained Butterfly Garden:

20 inch planter/container
Potting soil
Coffee Filter
Butterfly bush

Butterfly weed
VerBena (Homestead Purple) Penta

Visit your local nursery or order online a preplanned butterfly garden. Purchase the plants that are suggested from the list above. Find a sunny spot that is protected from the wind. Place a flattened coffee filter at the bottom of your container and fill with potting soil. (this will help to keep valuable nutrients from escaping) Plant the tallest specimens in the back and the shorter ones in the front. Water and fertilize frequently. Have fun with your butterfly gardens.

“The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly”
Ecouchard Le Brun

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