Butterfly Gardening

Butterfly gardening is simply a way of growing flowers and plants that will attract these beautiful, colorful and delicate creatures to your garden. Your family and friends will be delighted and thoroughly enjoy these beautiful creatures. But you need to be sure to create a safe habitat for them. It certainly would be a shame to attract these lovely insects to their death.

 butterfly gardeningOne of the biggest things in creating your butterfly garden is to find out which species of butterflies live in your area and which plants and flowers will attract them.

Your butterfly garden design is a matter of your personal preferences. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.

Butterflies are attracted to flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender.

 butterfly gardeningPlanting a successful butterfly garden is one that promotes the entire life cycle of a butterfly. This requires two types of plants. The first plants you need are ones that the larva can feed on. These are referred to as host plants and my personal favorite is Sweet Fennel. Butterflies lay their eggs on the host plant, which will then serve as a food source for the larva until it becomes a full sized caterpillar. During this phase the caterpillar will molt several times. The caterpillar’s body at this point begins to change.

They usually leave the host plant and find a more sheltered place to continue their metamorphosis. The caterpillar will attach to a twig or branch, something sturdy. The body then begins to enter into the chrysalis or cocoon stage. About two weeks later a beautiful butterfly will emerge! Then, the search is on for the second type of plant.

 butterfly gardeningThey will be on the search for flowers that have nectar. Perennials such as Sedum, Thyme and Sage are plants butterflies love. You want to plant these flowers in the sun because they attract the butterflies more than when they are planted in the shade. Verbena is also a good choice. Other big hits are Nectar-rich plants, herbs and wildflowers such as nasturtium, Thyme, Cornflower, French Marigold, Honeysuckle, Asters and Daisies. Anything with a large yellow daisy like flower is really good.

You will also need water of some kind to create the kind of environment that they find attractive. A birdbath can look really attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from cats or mischievous puppies. You could also use a shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree.

When planting your butterfly garden, think about the colors you choose for your flowerbeds. You not only want a garden that attracts butterflies but one that looks great as well. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange have a greater impact against a strong green background. While cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.

Planting a butterfly garden can create a paradise of still beauty AND animation. By growing a few special plants in your garden, you can help to preserve these delicate creatures.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, September 11th, 2010 at 2:49 pm and is filed under Ideas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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