Butterfly Gardens

April 1, 2010 at 7:44 am 4 comments

Butterflies are the only insects that homeowners and garden enthusiasts seem to enjoy having around.    In addition to being great to look at, they are important to the garden in that they help to pollinate many plants and they act as a necessary food source for a variety of animals.   Meadows that serve as the butterflies habitat are disappearing, and creating a butterfly garden can help to somewhat restore their habitat and thus entice the butterflies to return.  Watching butterflies of all different colours and patterns fluttering around the garden provides enjoyment to young and old.

How do you create a butterfly garden?   Butterflies require four site requirements and one of them is sunshine.  A site in the yard with a lot of sun exposure is ideal, and you may also want to provide several large flat rocks as they provide areas to warm their wings.  The site selected must also have limited wind exposure as butterflies tend to not fly well during strong winds.  Having the garden located next to hedges or shrubs may help shelter the insects from the wind.  Butterflies like to drink water and therefore it may be helpful to provide a mud puddle by exposing a patch of soil (Krischik, 2010).  Finally it is important for this garden to remain pesticide-free as butterflies and other beneficial insects are likely to be harmed by pesticide usage.

What types of plants can be used in a butterfly garden?  Butterflies are more likely come to your garden if you provide plants that serve as nectar sources for adult butterflies and plants that serve as food for caterpillars (i.e nettles and thistles).  Plants that serve as nectar sources should be available throughout the growing season.  Some examples of suitable nectar sources are milkweeds, coneflowers, New England Asters, and bergamot.  You should avoid using roses, geraniums, and lilies because they are not good sources of nectar for butterflies (Krichik, 2010).  There is a wide variety of plants to select for your butterfly garden, and for more information please check out the references  in our links section.

A.Mohamed

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Entry filed under: Eco Friendly, Gardens, Native Plants, Perennials. Tags: , , , .

Bringing Nature to your yard Prepare your Lawn for Spring!

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Allison Mohamed  |  April 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    What are the other types of critters that we can attract to the garden?

    Reply
  • 3. Allison Mohamed  |  April 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for answering my question. In the past, I’ve had a pair of robins use the big maple tree in the yard as their home during the summers. They make summer bbq’s and dinners on the patio just that much more entertaining. Would love to be able to have some blue jays fly in from time to time too.

    Reply
    • 4. ecoscaper  |  April 14, 2010 at 9:16 am

      Hi Ali,
      You might get your wish, I have already spotted two Blue Jays this season so far, and I am usually lucky so spot two in the season in suburban areas!
      Good luck to you, and keep on enjoying nature!
      Michelle

      Reply

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