Monday, March 11, 2013

List of Plants that Attract Butterflies




Attract butterflies to your yard by planning a garden that will provide nourishment and shelter.  Butterflies will look for forage for the caterpillar stage and adult butterflies will seek nectar from various flowers.  If you provide the butterfly with their needs then butterflies will be attracted to your yard.



Planning a Butterfly Garden

Choose a large sunny area in your yard that has well-drained soil.  This is the area where you will provide the butterflies with a natural environment. 

Choose plants that will attract butterflies to your yard. Plant a variety of flowers with different bloom times. So you can attract butterflies all season. 


Plants that I grow in my butterfly garden

Asters, Autumn Joy Sedum, Asiatic lilies, Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly bush, Butterfly plant, Chamomile, Cardinal flower (red), Chives, Chicory, Chrysanthemum, Clover (white, yellow and red) Comfrey, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Crabapple flowers, Dandelion, Dill, Dogwood blooms, Echinacea Coneflowers, Evening Primrose, Fennel, Garden Mint, Happy returns day lily, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lilac, Marigold, Meadowsweet, Milkweed, , Mimosa flowers, Parsley, Peony, Petunia, Purple Phlox, Red and Fuchsia Bee Balm, Sage, Sweet Pea, Sweet Autumn Clematis, Thyme, Valerian, Verbena, Yarrow,  Zinnias.

Photographs of a few flowers that grow in my garden
Coneflowers
Black-eyed Susan
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Bee Balm
Garden Mint
Happy Returns Daylily
Mimosa Flower
 

Many people view the dandelion as an invasive weed however the butterfly finds the nectar in this plant to be most desirable.  I recommend that you grow dandelions in a large container.  Set the container next to your butterfly garden.

Other plants that can be invasive are white clover.  I grow white, yellow and red clover in my side yard as it is directly next to the woods and this area is primarily for the wildlife.  It is a good idea to grow clover in a container or raised garden bed, because if you sow seeds in the lawn, the clover will take over, can become invasive. Plant a mixture of the white, yellow and red and it will be eye appealing and fragrant.

Shelter from the Wind

Next, provide the butterfly with shelter from rain and the wind.   You may want to add a butterfly house or plant a large butterfly bush that will break the wind and protect the butterfly.

Making a Butterfly Pond

Clear a section of the garden for a butterfly pond. Remove the grass and dig a hole that is as deep and wide as a plant saucer.  Set the saucer in the center and firm the soil around it.  Fill the saucer with water and wet the dirt on the sides to form mud. The saucer of water will provide hydration and the mud will provide nutritious minerals for many insects.  Keep this soil in this area moist with slow drip irrigation.




Tips:

Refrain from treating your yard and garden with insecticides as they will kill the caterpillar and butterfly by poisoning their forage.  A butterfly can be killed by resting on an insecticide-treated leaf.

Get a closer look at the butterflies by setting a garden bench next to the garden.
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Attract Butterflies with Herbs

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