Create Your Own Butterfly Garden

       It is easy to create or convert your garden into a private retreat for native butterflies. Butterflies use plants during each stage of their life cycle - egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis) and adult (butterfly). A butterfly garden that includes plants for the entire life cycle will attract the greatest number and variety of native butterflies.

       Flowers provide a good source of nectar to attract the adults. When a butterfly detects something sweet, it will extend it's coiled proboscis and probe into the flower for nectar. Plant the flowers in clusters of each species and create a garden that includes several different colors and flower heights. Clusters of flowers are easier for the butterflies to locate than individual plants. Most caterpillars are specific about the plants they feed on, and female butterflies will only lay their eggs on the caterpillar food plants. Some plants, like milkweed and alfalfa, provide both nectar for adults and food for many species of caterpillar.

       Another important aspect of butterfly gardens is the need to provide sources of shelter for the butterflies. Tall trees can provide a place for butterflies to roost at night or during cloudy weather (willows, ash, and chokecherry are also caterpillar food plants for some species). Or, try one of our beautiful butterfly houses. Plant your garden in a sunny place to increase blooming, and provide rocks for butterflies to bask in the sun. Butterflies bask to heat up their wing muscles for flight.


Create your own butterfly garden
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