Make A Butterfly Garden that will beautify your landscape while providing habitat for pollinators. Moreover, a beautiful garden can be the best option to relax your mind. So, how to make a butterfly garden. This blog will help you to know this. Let’s get started.
Everyone will be captivated by watching butterflies in your garden!
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Do you take pollinators for granted?
We happily plant our gardens, carefully nurturing the plants and carefully managing their soil, water, and fertilizing needs. Patiently awaiting the rich harvest that nourishes both body and spirit.
But how often do you think about the pollinators?
Those active insects that visit the blossoms of our future harvest to gather nectar and pollen? Without them, we would have no harvest at all!
The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) is concerned about what could happen. If we don’t start paying more attention to pollinators:
Today, possible declines in the health and population of pollinators pose a significant threat to the integrity of biodiversity, to global food webs, and to human health.
I’m not trying to scare you with that; I just want to raise your awareness. Moreover, I want to give you a little perspective on how important it is. And we pay attention to pollinators for our own butterfly garden and the whole world.
The key point to understand!!
You’ve probably heard about the declines in bee populations and all the problems they’ve been facing, but less attention has been paid to another critical group of pollinators – different butterflies.
So, if you could ensure the healthy pollination of your own garden by attracting different butterflies to it and doing your part to help these important pollinators, wouldn’t that make you feel great?
What do you need to consider about butterflies?
Here’s what you need to know to get started:
I don’t know about you, but I just love butterflies.
When I was about three called them flutter byes because that’s exactly what they do. They flutter by on their search for flowers and the life-giving nectar they provide. Create a butterfly garden and enjoy the beauty of a variety of pollinators.
But to best understand how to make a butterfly garden a haven. You need to know a little bit about the butterfly’s life cycle.
Overview about the life-cycle of a butterfly
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation gives you all the basic information on butterflies and what you can do to attract them. It mentions that a butterfly begins as an egg, which hatches into a caterpillar. They need to eat a lot of food in preparation for turning into a butterfly.
The thing is, most butterflies will only lay their eggs on or near a very limited number of specific kinds of plants.
Note: Suppose you want to be successful at attracting butterflies to your garden. In that case, you need to pay attention not only to the nectar flowers on which butterflies feed but also need to grow butterfly host plants that allow them to make more butterflies.
The caterpillar also needs a safe place to form its chrysalis, the cocoon in which it magically transforms into a beautiful butterfly. This can happen in a bush, tall grass, or even a pile of sticks and leaves. Therefore, be sure to have some of those items in or near your garden.
Remember: Being an organic gardener, you don’t have to worry about harming butterflies by using any nasty chemical pesticides or insecticides. You can go ahead and remember how to make a butterfly garden without the concern that you will be killing them off.
It would be best if you use native plants mostly. Why?
The US Forest Service has a great publication called Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden Using Native Plants. It says that:
Pollinators have evolved with native plants, which are best adapted to the local growing season, climate, and soils. Most pollinators feed on specific plant species… Non-native plants may not provide pollinators with enough nectar or pollen, or maybe inedible to butterfly or moth caterpillars.
In other words, the pollinators that live in our local communities will be happiest with local, native plants. Now it’s time to take a look at specific plants you can use to attract butterflies to your garden. You can also use skyplanters to make butterfly gardens. This is the key point for how to make a butterfly garden.
List of different butterflies and the butterfly host plants for your beautiful garden!
The Goatweed Leafwing
It is a pretty little red-orange butterfly that actually feeds mostly on sap and rotting fruit, so no worries there if you have a compost pile! The preferred butterfly host plants include Goatweed (Croton capitatum), Texas croton (C. texensis), and prairie tea (C. monanthogynus), all in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).
The Question Mark
It is a lovely orange butterfly with black spots that will visit flowers such as common milkweed, aster, and sweet pepperbush. Host plants include American elm (Ulmus americanus), red elm (Ulmus rubra), hackberry (Celtis), nettles (Urtica), and false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica).
It is a monarch look-a-like that composites including aster, goldenrod, joe-Pye weed, and shepherd’s needle. Preferred host plants include trees in the willow family (Salicaceae), including willows (Salix), poplars, and cottonwoods (Populus).
The Spicebush Swallowtail
It is a striking butterfly whose wings are mostly black, rimmed with ivory spots, and often an area of light blue towards the tail end. It loves to feed on jewelweed, thistles, milkweed, azalea, dogbane, lantana, mimosa, and sweet pepperbush. Butterfly host plants include Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum), sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), and redbay (Persea borbonia).
The Carolina Satyr
It is a plain brown butterfly until it closes its wings when it reveals some really interesting-looking black eyespots outlined in yellow. This is a butterfly that also feeds primarily on sap and rotting fruit, but the host plants include Carpet grass (Axonopus compressus), centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and others.
The Spring Azure
It is an attractive blue butterfly that enjoys the nectar of dogbane, privet, New Jersey tea, blackberry, common milkweed, and many others. Host plants include a variety of woody shrubs and occasionally herbs, including dogwood (Cornus florida), New Jersey tea (Ceanothus Americanus), meadowsweet (Spiraea salicifolia), and Collinsia.
The Monarch Butterfly
And, of course, nearly everyone knows by now that the beautiful Monarch Butterfly relies heavily on milkweed, so in our part of the country, we want to make sure that milkweed is in plentiful supply.
If you want to expand your pollinator attraction efforts beyond butterflies, one of the best resources I’ve come across is Pollinator.org. It has extensive information and plant lists tailored by region.
Now that you know how to make a butterfly garden and important reasons, what are you waiting for? Make a positive choice and start attracting butterflies to your garden today!