Planning & Planting A Butterfly Garden
Butterflies do a lot to help your garden. They help to pollinate your flowers and veggies as well as add a beauty for your enjoyment.
These beautiful insects are attracted to bright flowers and they feed on the nectar. Once they feed on the flowers and their bodies and wings collect the pollen, they carry it to other plants.
This helps flowers, fruits, and vegetables to produce new seeds.
If you intend to attract them to your garden, you’ll need to put some effort into planning a butterfly garden before you start to plant a butterfly garden. If you do it right you’ll also bring in native birds and bees. This will create biodiversity into the ecosystem of your garden which it turn makes it healthier.
When you have a thriving ecosystem the good insects can control the bad ones, the birds and bees can pollinate making everything grow as well as adding to the beauty. Making surer you have a good balance means your plants are happier and healthier.
If you want more butterflies in your garden, the big question is: How can I get the butterflies to come and stay?
Planting a butterfly garden is fun and easy. The kids will love helping, too.
Select A Place For Your Butterfly Garden
When deciding how to make a butterfly garden, it all begins with selecting a site for it.
When you design a butterfly garden, select a spot that has some sun yet is sheltered from the wind. This spot should include a few trees and shrubs that can help them cool off during the hottest part of the day and make a nice place for roosting at night.
Choose Nectar Plants For A Butterfly Garden
When shopping for flowers for a butterfly garden, you’ll likely see a lot of plants and seeds with “butterfly friendly” labels.
These labels are most likely true. They’re plants that produce nectar that can help attract butterflies.
However, one thing to remember: Choose plants that are common in your area and that can thrive well. Visit the local butterfly gardens in your area or talk to other butterfly gardeners to find out what really brings them in.
A good resource for learning to identify and lure butterflies to your garden is the “Butterflies In The Garden Book” by Carol Lerner.
Once you identified that butterflies that will visit your garden, select the preferred caterpillar food plants and nectar plants that are recommended for your area, like these:
- The next generation of lo & behold blue chip, jr is smaller, less brittle, and has attractive silver-green leaves. Fragrant blue-purple flowers on new wood from mid-summer to frost
- Light exposure: sun, part sun. Hardiness zones 5-9. Habit: mounded. Hardy trees & shrubbery
- Deer resistant, summer flowering
- Drought tolerant, fragrant
- Five large paper seed packets of popular perennial flowers including Purple Coneflower, Russell Lupine, Black-eyed Susan, Shasta Daisy and Blanket Flower. Enjoy outdoors in the garden and indoor as cut flowers.
- Plant wildflower style or in carefully arranged beds, whatever suits your fancy. Each variety is in an individual pack; not a mix of bulk seed. All perennial flowers that will come back year after year.
- Bee, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds love these flowers and will likely pay you many visits. Great way to attract and support your local pollinators.
- They are easy to grow.
- Quality China Aster seeds packaged by Seed Needs. Intended for the current and the following growing season.
- Packets are 3.25″ wide by 4.50″ tall and come with a full colored illustration on the front side, as well as detailed sowing instructions on the reverse.
- Crego Mixture will produce a beautiful blend of double petaled blooms, in shades of pink, purple, rose, white & violet.
- The flowers are roughly 4 inches in diameter and are accented with a beautiful, bright yellow center. China Aster, Crego Mixture plants grow to a mature height of 12 to 30 inches tall, baring fairly long, slender stems.
- Grown as an annual flowering plant, China Asters will grow quickly, bloom profusely, later dying with the first killing frost.
- All China Aster seeds sold by Seed Needs are Non-GMO based seed products and are intended for the current & the following growing season. All seeds are produced from open pollinated plants, stored in a temperature controlled facility.
- Each set contains full color seed packets of Crackerjack Marigold (Tagetes erecta) flowers. This variety produces beautiful round orange and yellow colored blossoms.
- Plant wildflower style or in carefully arranged beds, whatever suits your fancy. Crackerjack Marigold will bring color to your garden as they blossom all summer long.
- Butterflies and bees love Crackerjack Marigold flowers and will likely pay you many visits. Great way to support your local pollinators.
- Blooms in about 90 days
- Seeds are Non-GMO, easy to grow and hand packed by David’s Garden Seeds in the United States
- Large, 2 inch blossoms in bright, clear colors of red, purple, mauve, pink, blue, and white
- Blooms over a long period with exceptional fragrance
- Germination rate about 80% or better
Trees and shrubs can create shade, but they also provide shelter for birds and butterflies in your garden.
Place your tree and shrubs properly around your garden to shelter your plants from the wind. This will also make it easier for the butterflies to explore your garden.
Grow Caterpillar Food Plants
Adult butterflies feed on flower nectar. Their babies, the caterpillars, feed on the leaves and buds of specific plants. These plants include holly, ivy, and nettles.
Growing these plants in your garden will help the butterflies complete their lifecycles.
Choosing the right plant to attract the butterflies you want to have in your garden is an important step. Certain caterpillars require certain plants to live and grow into the butterflies you want in your garden.
- Stinging nettle is a perennial medicinal herb growing in USDA Zones 3 – 10.
- This green herb plant can reach 24 – 36 inches in height.
- They are covered with small hairs that release a painful, stinging chemical when they come into contact with skin.
- Plant 7 – 10 of these heirloom, non gmo nettle seeds to grow in your herb garden.
- Known for its use in beer, Common Hops, give beverages flavor and stability. Grow your own hops seeds for home brew and you’ll have the best taste possible!
- Give these Humulus lupulus seeds a cold treatment before planting. They respond well to being added to dampened sand and staying in the refrigerator for 6 weeks or more. Plan on using 2 vine seeds per plant.
- This perennial vine is both practical and ornamental! It can reach up to 20 feet in height, and it offerers many medicinal herb benefits for stomach and sleep issues. The correct term is actually “bine” for this plant. No tendrils are used for climbing but rather the Hops Bine uses stiff hairs along the stems to climb.
- Grow this vining plant for Zones 4 – 8. It’s a hardy perennial that will come back year after year and has the ability to spread by rhizomes to create a lush display. They can be used to create natural privacy screens for your landscape.
- Our seeds are always Non-GMO and packaged for the current year.
- Broadleaf Birdsfoot Trefoil grows as a perennial forage legume and handles a wide range of soil types.
- Lotus corniculatus is a winter hardy crop that is great for hay and silage and will attract deer, turkey, and rabbits to your pasture.
- Birdsfoot trefoil should be seeded with grasses for optimum forage production such as: Timothy, smooth brome, orchardgrass, tall fescue, and perennial ryegrass.
- Sow these heirloom seeds at 5 – 8 pounds per acre in early spring or summer.
- Our seeds are always Non-GMO and packaged for the current year.
- The common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the only food source for Monarch caterpillars and grown Monarch butterflies love the plant as well. With declining Monarch populations in the US, these host plants help provide homes.
- POLLINATOR FRIENDLY -The nectar in Milkweed attracts many butterflies and bees. Milkweed also provides the necessary large leaves for caterpillars and nectar flowers for grown butterflies.
- They are easy to grow.
- Easy to grow.
- Can remain outside with temperatures above 40 degrees F.
Have A Water Source
Water is also needed to attract and keep butterflies in your garden.
Dew, nectar, and tree sap can provide these beautiful insects the moisture that they need. Muddy puddles and moist soil are good sources of salt and nutrients for butterflies, too.
Place some puddling stations around your garden. They can be as simple as a ground covered with sand, but also some ready made puddling stations like old birdbaths.
With a little planning and planting you can have a beautiful butterfly garden and make a great addition to your ecosystem.
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