How to start a Butterfly Garden
Butterfly gardening is aimed at creating an environment that attracts butterflies. This is a great addition to any Local Museum or Gallery or Library. Butterfly gardening is often aimed at inviting those butterflies and moths to lay eggs as well. Because some plants are not fed upon by adult butterflies, the caterpillar host should also be planted for a bigger population of butterflies. Butterflies typically feed on the nectar of flowers, and there are hundreds of such plants that may be planted to attract them, depending on the location and time of year. In addition to the planting of flowers that feed butterflies, other means of attracting them include constructing ¨butterfly houses¨, providing sand for puddling, water, and other features.
The University of Kentucky is an excellent resource for starting a butterfly garden to beautify your neighborhood.
Why Butterfly Garden?
Some people only like to look at the butterflies, while others like to take pictures as well. Others try to help the butterfly population by planting native plants which rare or threatened butterflies feed on. Done correctly, butterfly gardening can increase the populations of butterflies. Butterflies serve as flower pollinators and attracting the butterflies can also assist in the pollination of nearby plants. Typically, flowers of plants that attract butterflies also attract other insect pollinators.
Research should be conducted as to what species are prevalent in your area, and what plants they prefer to nectar on. Depending on your zone, some butterfly attracting plants include: purple cone flowers, yellow cone flowers, sunflowers, marigolds, poppies, cosmos, salvias, some lilies, asters, coreopsis, daisies, verbenas, milkweed – especially for the Monarch butterfly, whose caterpillars feed solely on this plant- the butterfly bush, zinnias, pentas, and others.
In addition to expanding the number of species seen in your yard, provide host plants that feed the caterpillars. This is just as important as planting flower beds with nectar-rich blooms.
A Butterfly Garden is the perfect addition to any Local Museum or Gallery or Library