If you love growing plants and flowers and love watching butterflies gently float around, then why not combine the two and create a beautiful butterfly garden, so that you can enjoy both beautiful flowers and watching those butterflies flutter from flower to flower. Here are a few simple steps that will enable you to successfully create a butterfly garden.
Start by Doing a Bit of Research
Before you start designing or planting a butterfly garden, you first need to do a bit of research and determine which types of butterflies are common to the area in which you live. Most areas through the United States have about 100 different butterflies per area. This means that you may want to narrow down the varieties of butterflies you are trying to attract to just a few different varieties.
Make a List of Plants
Once you have determined what varieties of butterflies you would most like to attract you then want to make a list of plants that are most attractive to the varieties of butterflies you have chosen. Make sure you include plants that the larvae stage (caterpillar) of the butterfly will eat as well as those plants that full grown butterflies are attracted too. Keep in mind that nectar containing plants are the most common food source for butterflies. Nectar plants include:
- Butterfly bush
- Swamp Milkweed
- Bee Balm
Make sure the flowers you choose differ in sizes, shapes and colors.
Plan Out Your Garden
During the winter months plan out your landscape design of your butterfly garden as to size, shape and plants. Keep in mind that your garden doesn’t have to large, but should include flowers that bloom from spring to fall to ensure that the butterflies get plenty to eat.
Butterfly gardens can be as small as flower patch or even a decent size container garden as long as it contains the right plants.
Don’t Forget the Water!
Butterflies like all living things need water to drink to survive. Butterflies do not drink from deep ponds or bird baths, but rather need something shallow in which to drink from, like the curl in a leaf, a dent in a rock, or a shallow sauce placed on the ground with just a bit of water in it.
A Resting Place
Butterflies need a place to rest while eating your garden so placing a few large stones or rocks in your butterfly garden will give your butterflies a place to rest for a short period of time right within your garden. Including a few fairly dense bushes in your garden will not only give your butterflies places to rest, but also a safe place to hide from predators of butterflies and poor weather conditions as well as a place to sleep.
Creating a butterfly garden is fun, and it is a great way for those of you who want to study the habits of butterflies as well as for those who simply want to enjoy these beautiful creatures and the flowers they love.