Calling all Butterflies: How to Create a Butterfly Garden for your Backyard

by R.I. Lampus
How to create a butterfly garden for your backyard With summertime here, so are all the blooms and creatures that enjoy the sunshine season. Are you looking to add different plants and flowering greenery to your outdoor space to create a more inviting atmosphere for some of those critters like butterflies? We have you covered with this easy-to-follow guide for getting started on your very own butterfly garden right in your backyard.

Butterfly on a flower
First let’s cover the basics of the butterfly with some fun facts:
  1. Butterflies are cold-blooded and like to feed when the sun is out.
  2. Morning time sun is their favorite since it helps them warm up their bodies and wings for flying.
  3. Butterflies use their feet to taste.
  4. Butterflies help pollinate plants making them very important to your backyard ecosystem.
Now that you know more about butterflies, it’s time to discuss what will attract them to your outdoor-living space to create the ideal butterfly garden.

First, you need to plant butterfly-friendly flowers. Traditionally, butterflies are attracted to colorful flowers with easy nectar access. Some of these flowers are Milkweed, Coneflowers, and Aster. Something to keep in mind is that butterflies like to eat from groups of flowers at a time. Try to plant the flowers you choose in patches not singularly.

Besides nectar flowers, flowering shrubs are also great options for attracting butterflies, as well as adding height and variety in your backyard. Options range from Lavender, Buddleia aka Butterfly Bush, and Hydrangea. Some of these bushes are great for attracting hummingbirds as well.

To create an all-encompassing area for butterflies to not only eat, but live for generations, it’s wise to add host plants. These host plants provide females a place to lay eggs and also offer necessary food for growing caterpillars. An example of a host plant would be Milkweed.

Butterflies in a flower garden
A few more helpful tips would be:
  1. Pick a sunny location for your butterfly garden. Like mentioned prior, butterflies love the sun. Make sure you pick a spot that gets between 6 to 8 hours of full sun for the species to thrive.
  2. Add alternative butterfly food for your fluttery friends. Things like overripe fruit, fruit juice, sugar water, and clear sports drinks are all great options.
  3. Stay away from using pesticides that are harmful to butterflies. If you must use something, check with your local gardening supply store or landscaper to make sure what you purchase will not kill off your new winged neighbors.
For more insight on butterfly gardens watch this helpful video: How to make a butterfly garden - Butterfly Garden Basics

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