An Introduction to Butterfly Gardening

An Introduction to Butterfly Gardening

In order to attract butterflies to your garden, you have to make your yard more inviting to them.  You’ll need to provide plants that the caterpillars can use, food for the adult butterflies, and a good place for the butterflies to breed.

Most varieties of butterflies will also need some sort of shelter from wind.  Although they really like open areas with a lot of sun, you’ll probably need to provide some sort of windbreak to protect them from high winds that can disturb them.

Butterflies often congregate by the edges of mud puddles.  You’ve probably seen this before.  It isn’t known exactly why butterflies enjoy mud puddles so much, but it’s thought that it may be certain minerals that are present in the muddy water.  If you want to attract a lot of butterflies, you might consider keeping some damp areas in your garden.

Female butterflies need plants that can be eaten by the caterpillars that hatch from their eggs.  Black swallowtails prefer dill and parsley, for example.  Monarch butterflies typically only lay their eggs on milkweed.  Female butterflies spend a lot of time searching for these plants to lay their eggs on.

Adult butterflies eat nectars from various flowers.  Flowers that contain a lot of nectar are especially attractive to butterflies.  These flowers are usually brightly colored and sweetly scented.  Some species of butterflies feed on the honeydew produced by aphids.  Some even feed on plant spa, bird feces, or rotting fruit!