Would you like to create a butterfly habitat that your friends will envy? Here is what you need to do! First, make sure that you plant flowers that will give the butterflies a steady source of nectar all through the summer months
You do not have to be a master gardener to have a butterfly habitat. You only need to plant butterfly flowers. After all, butterflies are not particular about nectar plants. They will seek out any flowers that produce abundant amounts of nectar for them.
It is quite simple to develop a butterfly habitat. You may even discover that you already grow some flowers that draw butterflies. With just a small amount of effort you can bring into existence a charming environment for these lovely winged creatures, and the butterflies will to flock to your yard.
If you are starting from scratch, and will be making a new flower bed for your butterfly habitat, you will first need to learn how to properly develop a planting bed for your flowers. If you will be making a new butterfly garden from the ground up, it is imperative to have information about how to enrich the soil and select the appropriate plants for your habitat.
When making a choice of where to establish your butterfly habitat, pick a place that is not isolated from other plants. Butterflies will be more apt to track down your garden if there are other plants nearby to lead them to your butterfly habitat. But if your butterfly habitat is the only patch of flowers in a extensive sea of grass, butterflies will not have much of an excuse to visit the area. If you have a strip of flowering shrubs and other butterfly-enticing plants that are spread out around your yard, the butterflies are much more disposed to spending time in your butterfly habitat.
The butterfly habitat should most certainly include a wide assortment of plants that are of interest to butterflies, and those blooms should be in a wide assortment of colors and heights. You should plant a number of different combinations of flowers in a wide range of sizes and colors. Think about planting rhododendrons,azaleas, and lilacs for height. Fragrant ‘James McFarland’ lilacs seem to be especially attractive to butterflies. Weigela, with its blooms that look like dainty bells, is another good shrub for attracting butterflies.
Every butterfly habitat needs Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa). Not only will the flashy orange blooms attract a large number of butterflies, but the plant will also supply food for caterpillars. Without the caterpillars there would be no butterflies. Dill and Parsley also supply food for butterfly caterpillars. If you are fortunate, you may even have Monarch butterflies laying their eggs on the milkweed and you can witness the entire life cycle, from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.
Many other commonly grown blooms will attract butterflies, like Hollyhocks, Pentas, Cosmos, Black-Eyed Susans, Purple Coneflowers, Zinnias, Bee Balm, and Cleome. Buddleia, also known as butterfly bush, is a must in any butterfly garden. If you have room for this large plant, Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) will entice large numbers of hummingbirds and butterflies with its bright orange blooms.
Design your butterfly habitat so there are flowers all summer long. The Azaleas, Rhododendrons, and Lilacs will provide a spring snack for butterflies, followed by summer-blooming plants including the Buddleia and Asclepias. In the fall, butterflies will sip nectar from ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum and Asters.
Together with providing food for butterflies, your butterfly habitat should also furnish them with a resting place as well as a sanctuary from the cold and wind. Put flat rocks in your garden where the butterflies can warm themselves. It is even more desirable if the rocks have shallow depressions where water will puddle and turn into a place for butterflies to meet up for a drink.
A small log pile will furnish shelter from the weather for butterflies in your habitat. You can also purchase butterfly shelters that look rather like tall, narrow birdhouses with several slots for entrances. These may attract butterflies, but in my experience yellow jackets have a tendency to move in, and this can prevent any butterflies from entering.
One last element that every butterfly habitat should have is a comfortable bench placed where you can sit down and admire the beautiful butterflies. After all, you have created this butterfly habitat not only for the butterflies; but also for your own (and your friends!) enjoyment as well.