How to Create a Butterfly Garden

Country Woman’s Gardening Guide for creating a garden to attract beautiful butterflies.

How to create a butterfly garden in your own backyard

By Ann Wied
Brookfield, WI

Creating a successful butterfly garden is surprisingly simple, because North America’s wide variety of butterflies flock to a wide variety of plants. And the good news keeps coming, because these gardens don’t need a lot of space! Butterfly gardens can be grown in containers, small beds or open fields. Even if you have acres of space, you’ll want to create scattered groupings of plantings rather than one large garden, because that’s what butterflies like best.

Here are some easy tips for creating a butterfly garden in your own backyard:

  1. Choose a sunny area. Give butterflies a place to bask that’s sheltered from harsh winds.
  2. Place warming surfaces throughout your garden.   Butterflies capture the sun’s rays to warm their bodies. Provide flat rocks or other surfaces they can use in addition to grasses or exposed soil.
  3. Where there’s water… Butterflies will seek out birdbaths, damp areas or shallow puddles near plants they visit.
  4. Provide plants. Clusters of short, tubular flowers—like penstemon, lupine, hyssop and larkspur—offer space to perch while feeding.
  5. Attract with alluring colors. Butterflies like bright flowers, especially purple, orange, yellow and red.
  6. Butterflies have to eat too! Offer plants to nourish both caterpillars and butterflies. Select plants suited to your yard’s soil, moisture and light conditions. For more info, check out our butterfly “menu” below.

“Today’s Specials” – Country Woman’s Guide to Butterfly Food

Menu

  • Interestingly, butterflies don’t always like flowers that smell good to humans! They’re likely to snub roses to sip from nectar-rich milkweed.
  • Remember, pesticides can be deadly to butterflies, so you may need to change to a nonchemical method of insect control.
  • Place your butterfly haven where you can comfortably watch your guests. Butterflies are most active (and easiest to spot) between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Once established, your butterfly garden may also attract other nectar-feeding creatures—moths, honeybees, bumblebees and hummingbirds. Summer is the perfect time to sit back and enjoy the show!
  • Caterpillars, the larval stage of butterflies, crave plants like birch, cherry, dill, parsley, grasses, violet, hollyhock, hackberry, plum, sorrel, viburnum and willow.
  • Mature butterflies need nectar, so choose plants with staggered flowering times to provide nutrition from spring through fall. Nectar plants include aster, butterfly bush, coneflower, phlox and zinnia. Be sure to buy single- instead of double-flowered types—the nectar is more accessible.

Kid’s Menu

  • Caterpillars, the larval stage of butterflies, crave plants like birch, cherry, dill, parsley, grasses, violet, hollyhock, hackberry, plum, sorrel, viburnum and willow.

Senior Specials

  • Mature butterflies need nectar, so choose plants with staggered flowering times to provide nutrition from spring through fall. Nectar plants include aster, butterfly bush, coneflower, phlox and zinnia. Be sure to buy single- instead of double-flowered types—the nectar is more accessible.

http://www.soveryblessed.com/2013/03/20/10-random-things 1 October 18, 2013 at 4:05 am

Hello there! Quixk question that’s entirely off topic.

Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that migt be able to
correct this problem. If you have any recommendations, please
share. Thanks!

Reply

sharon 2 October 18, 2013 at 9:27 am

Hi there! At this time, the site is not mobile-friendly. However, we know how important this is to our readers – and are actively planning to make the appropriate changes to the site so it will be responsive/accessible/easy to read on any mobile device. Stay tuned!

Reply

Debbie Rodgers 3 July 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm

I do not have a website. I love butterflys. We have lots of them, but I didn’t know exactly what kind of flowers to plant. Thank u soo much for the info.

Reply

Leave a Comment