An Introduction to Butterfly Gardening

Your butterfly garden should contain at least one big patch of flowers that will attract butterflies.  You may want to get flowers that bloom in sequence, because this will keep butterflies visiting your garden more often.

You should bear in mind that many flowers that are preferred by butterflies are considered weeds.  For example, dandelion is very attractive to several types of butterflies.  Thistle is another weed that many types of butterflies enjoy.

If you have an herb garden or vegetable garden, you may notice some butterflies congregating on some of your plants there.  The European cabbage butterfly enjoys broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables.  The black swallowtail often frequents herbs such as dill and parsley.

Don’t use insecticides in your garden unless absolutely necessary, because they can kill caterpillars.  Some insecticides can also kill the adult butterflies if they light on plants that have been treated, or if they drink nectar that was polluted by poison.

Some flowers you should plant if you like to attract butterflies include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, herbs like parsley and dill, and many types of flowers.  Some great flowers for butterfly gardens include asters, lilacs, verbena, zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, sunflowers, thistles, butterfly bush, bee balm, and sweet pea.

Making your garden hospitable for butterflies doesn’t take a lot of extra work.  Simply keeping a small wet area for them and planting a few plants that they’ll enjoy is often enough to attract a number of butterflies.