Butterflies are colorful creatures that are special and wonderful additions to your garden. A carefully planned garden can attract butterflies that sip nectar from many flowers and search for a place to lay their larvae. Butterfly gardens are basically organic gardens that use no chemicals. With this in mind, be sure to create a safety zone for your butterflies. Habitual zones and places where areas of the landscape meet with the tree lines are favorite safe places for them. It is also helpful to find out what kinds of butterflies are native to your area so you can find appropriate plants for them.
Fennel, parsley and dill are wonderful plants for attracting Anise Swallowtail and the Black Swallowtail butterfly. Lupine flowers are a favorite with Fritillary butterfly and Snapdragons are a great choice of attracting butterflies that are native to your own area. To attract butterflies in passing, early butterfly gardens are often sufficient; however, gardens that offer a safe haven for them will urge the butterflies to stay longer. Most butterflies are active in the mid to late summer, so it is important that you also have plants available to them during that time. You can also use a home made feeder as a supplement the garden’s flower nectar. To make a home made feeder from a small jar, drill a small hole in the middle of the lid and plug the hole with cotton. Next fill the jar with a solution of nine parts water and one part sugar, attach brightly colored fabric petals to the lid and hang your feeder in a tree near your garden.
Butterflies are attracted to gardens that will provide adequate food for both them and their offspring. While young caterpillars eat from the plants, adult butterflies sip nectar from the flowers. As your plants grow and mature, the number of butterflies will also increase. They also search for areas that can shelter them from high winds, summer storms and rains. Shrubs and trees are good choices for plants that will provide them protective shelter. The wide open areas of the garden are also desired on normal warm and sunny summertime weather. To find water, butterflies often seek soft, sandy ,soil; especially when the soil allows water to puddle up after a rainstorm. Unlike birds, butterflies are unable to drink from birdbaths and other sources of open water. Flat rocks are helpful to butterflies so they can stretch out in the sun and absorb much needed heat that makes it possible for them to fly.
If the plants in your garden appeal to butterflies, you will attract them. The ideal place for butterflies would be a place for them to sip nectar, hibernate and lay eggs, as well as plants where the larvae and caterpillars can feed off of.
Seeing your landscape come alive with butterflies is a beautiful thing to see. Now you can sit back and watch these wonderful creatures grow and thrive in your own back yard this summer.