Butterflies in the Garden

If you want to attract butterflies into your garden, your garden will have to supply them with food and shelter not only for the adult butterfly but also the larvae stage. Butterflies can be very particular when it comes to choosing a site to lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, their habitat must also provide suitable plant material for their offspring, the caterpillars.

Observing the wildlife in your garden is one of its great joys. Not only are butterflies beautiful to watch but they are also great pollinators. If you want to attract them, you must not use chemical pesticides or insecticides. As well you will have to contend with their caterpillar stage and have a few nibbles on your plants.

Chinese Lilac / Sensible Gardening and Living
Chinese Lilac / Sensible Gardening and Living

Types of Butterflies:

swallowtails

painted ladies

monarchs

sulphurs

cabbage whites

red admirals

mourning cloaks

Plant shrubs to provide shelter from winds and predators and for resting spots. Choose flowering plants that bloom at different times, are nectar producing and have blossoms with flat tops of clusters. Best flower choices are simple blooms as often double blooms are a result of hybridizations and the blossoms are sterile and have little nectar. The best colors to attract butterflies are pink, orange, yellow and purple. Butterflies also like to have a spot to sit in the sun and require a source of water and dry sheltered sites (rocks or logs) to hibernate.

Good Butterfly Plants , Shrubs & Trees:

Spirea / stonecrop / goldenrod/ coneflower / daisy / black eyed susan / sunflower / cosmos / dianthus / nasturtium / zinnia / pansy / butterfly bush / lilac / mock orange / dogwood / rose / ninebark shrub / tickseed / columbine / viburnum /  alders / hawthorns / willows

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