Creating a butterfly garden is a fun and aesthetic way to bring colors to your garden. Watching butterflies reclining in the sun or moving from one flower to another has to be one of the fascinating pleasures of gardening. Butterflies play the role of pollinator and can benefit the health of plants in your garden. Here is how to create a butterfly garden to let these beautiful creatures a great place to hang out:
What is a Butterfly Garden?
Also called a butterfly habitat or butterfly sanctuary, a butterfly garden is a place where butterflies live, feed, and grow. Plants in a butterfly garden should attract butterflies and moths which promotes pollination. An appropriate butterfly garden can provide shelter to various species of butterflies at different stages of their lifecycle such as egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
Choose the Site for Butterfly Garden
A range of broad leaf shrubs and trees will protect them from rain, wind, as well as predators. Choose a sunny location for your butterfly garden. In case there is no protected site, create a windbreak by planting medium-sized cultivars of thick cypress, conifers, or juniper.
Provide Water to Butterflies
Add a mixture of soil and sand to a shallow bowl or plant saucer and thoroughly saturate the mixture by adding water. Butterflies prefer to relax on wet soil and sand and absorb minerals and moisture from it.
Plant Flowers to Attract Butterflies
Plant a variety of flowering plants with different colors, blooming times, and flower types to attract a wide range of butterfly species and provide them with various options. Butterflies consume tubular flowers and prefer ones with landing strips.
Coneflower, butterfly bush, coreopsis, pentas, butterfly weed, stonecrop, black-eyed Susan, bee balm, phlox, Joe Pye weed, verbena, cardinal flower, coneflower, and yarrow can keep your garden blooming with butterflies throughout the season.
You do not only have to attract beautiful adult butterflies but also little ones too. The most suitable habitat for butterflies is a diverse landscape. Different butterfly species require specific host plants to lay eggs. Plants such as wild mustard, milkweed, and nettle are great for a butterfly garden.
Attract Butterflies to Butterfly Garden
A butterfly garden requires flowers for butterflies to drink nectar and act as host plants for caterpillars. Many flowers need full sun or direct sunlight for 6 hours or more. Provide various kinds of flowers to attract particular species of butterflies and to give blooms from spring to fall so that nectar is available all the time.
To regulate their body temperature, butterflies bask in the sun. Place flat stones in the garden for butterflies where they can relax to absorb heat. Shrubs and trees provide shelter to butterflies, so consider them when planning your butterfly garden.
Even though butterflies are more active during the warmest time of the day, they will hunt for shade when the temperature goes beyond 100 degrees. To conclude, avoid pesticides and insecticides that may kill beneficial insects in addition to pests.