How to Create a Beautiful Butterfly Garden
Just like the flowers, spring is finally starting to pop up! We’ve all been through a lot over the past year and a half. I think a lot of us are ready to start getting back to a place of hope and beauty. Gardening is a great way to connect with nature, as well as get exercise and fresh air, and experience a sense of hope and beauty.
Even better than a regular garden, a Butterfly Garden does all of that and helps the environment.
Why Butterfly Gardens Are Important
Butterflies, like bees, are an important part of the environment. As you might remember from biology class, plants and flowers reproduce by pollination. A butterfly, bee, or other pollinator takes material from one plant to the other. Because of various chemicals and urban development, species of butterflies and moths are in a dangerous decline in the United States and North America. This could mean not only fewer flowers but fewer food crops, too. Creating a Butterfly Garden provides a safe space for these pollinators to land and thrive.
Choosing the Right Plants and Butterfly Bushes
Although many plants are marked as “butterfly safe” or “butterfly friendly,” you still need to do a little research. You need to know both what kinds of butterflies and plants are native to your area. Planting non-native plants are not good for the environment, and will not attract the nearby butterflies. This butterfly finder and this “native plant finder” are both great places to start. In order to grow the plants, you will also want to know about your own garden and the amount of shade and sun it gets. It’s like having a botanical garden at your own home!
Any flowering plant will attract butterflies to your garden. However, butterflies also need areas that provide shelter, water, sun, and biodiversity. You want to have plants that both feed butterflies, and encourage them to stick around for a while and lay eggs. This way, you create a new generation of butterflies. To do this, you need both nectar plants (for adult butterflies) and caterpillar food plants.
Like all insects, butterflies are cold-blooded. They like to start their day by warming themselves to the sun.
Place your garden someplace where sunlight reaches the ground early in the day. Ideally, you want your garden to receive six hours of direct sunlight a day.
More Food, More Butterflies!
The more attractive and nectar sources you provide in the garden, the more butterflies you’ll see. Butterflies like to eat sugar from rotting fruit. So, if you have a fruit tree in your yard, don’t be quick to clean up beneath it. The butterflies can feast on the fermenting fruit.
You can also fill a shallow plate with pieces of overripe fruit, and place it in the garden. Add some water or juice to prevent the fruit from drying. This creates a mushy consistency that butterflies like.
There’s still a lot going on in the world, but things are looking up. An attractive butterfly garden can provide a peaceful oasis for both you and our winged friends.